Interobserver Variability of the Diagnosis of Scaphoid Proximal Pole Fractures

Sci Variation Grp

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    Purpose Fractures of the proximal pole of the scaphoid are prone to adverse outcomes such as nonunion and avascular necrosis. Distinction of scaphoid proximal pole fractures from waist fractures is important for management but it is unclear if the distinction is reliable.

    Methods A consecutive series of 29 scaphoid fractures from one tertiary hospital was collected consisting of 5 scaphoid proximal pole and 24 scaphoid waist fractures. Fiftysevenmembers of the Science of Variation Group (SOVG) were randomized to diagnose fracture location and displacement by using radiographs alone or radiographs and a computed tomography (CT) scan.

    Results Observers reviewing radiographs alone and observers reviewing radiographs and CT scans both had substantial agreement on fracture location (kappa = 0.82 and kappa = 0.80, respectively; p = 0.54). Both groups had only fair agreement on fracture displacement (kappa = 0.28 and kappa = 0.35, respectively; p = 0.029).

    Conclusion Proximal pole fractures are sufficiently distinct from proximal waist fractures that CT does not improve reliability of diagnosis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)350-354
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of wrist surgery
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Sept-2018


    • scaphoid fracture
    • radiograph
    • CT scan
    • interobserver study
    • WAIST
    • SCREW

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