The radiographic density of the proximal fragments of 16 scaphoid fractures was assessed on scaphoid series radiographs taken at 6 to 12 weeks. In addition, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry measurements of bone mineral density in the distal radius and proximal and distal fracture fragments were performed at 1 to 2 weeks and 6 to 12 weeks. Median reductions of 9% and 10% were observed in bone mineral density in the proximal fracture fragment and the distal radius respectively, but these did not correlate with the radiographic density of the proximal fragment. A greater median reduction in bone mineral density (27%) was observed in the distal fracture fragment and more bone loss occurred at this site when there was an apparent increase in the radiographic density of the proximal fragment (median fall of 0.23 g/cm2 versus 0.14 g/cm2). Thus, apparent increased radiographic density of the proximal fragment may be due to increased bone loss from the distal fragment.
The Journal of Hand Surgery: Journal of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, Volume 31, Issue 4, August 2006, Pages 368-370