Scaphoid anatomy and mechanics: Update and review

Rita M. Patterson, Hisao Moritomo, Satoshi Yamaguchi, Hiromichi Mitsuyasu, Munir A. Shah, William L. Buford, Steven F. Viegas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This review has been an attempt to collate previous research on scaphoid anatomy, load mechanics, and kinematics into one article so that the reader can assimilate the information in a convenient way. This will hopefully assist in understanding the role of the scaphoid and the various types of injuries to and treatments of scaphoid fractures and ligament injuries. Three new areas of information can be emphasized from this work: 1) the use of plain radiographic analysis to assess scaphoid anatomy and correlate with degenerative changes in the STT joint; 2) the importance of the dorsal ligaments to scaphoid stability; and 3) STT kinematics during radial/ulnar deviation and flexion/extension motion. It is important to understand the different bone and ligament anatomy and the presence of degenerative changes. Of particular importance is the assessment of these anatomic differences from plain radiographs. Plain radiographs can be used to measure TT inclination, which has been shown to correlate with degenerative changes in the STT joint. Research in our laboratory has demonstrated that wrists with a higher TT inclination had a higher incidence of degenerative changes. Knowledge of the anatomy of the dorsal carpal ligaments has also provided a wealth of information on their role in carpal motion. The lateral V construct of the DRC, DIC, and dorsal component of the SLIO ligament delivers indirect dorsal stability, yet allows relative free motion of the scaphoid. This new perspective takes a more global view of how anatomy affects motion and how important these ligaments are in carpal stability. Finally, motion in the STT joint was analyzed during flexion/extension and radial/ulnar deviation of the wrist. Interestingly, the STT joint motion is in the same plane no matter what motion the wrist is going through. This allows us to better model and describe the STT joint while also allowing us to better understand the STT joint's role and how it affects different clinical treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages12
JournalAtlas of Hand Clinics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2004


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