The scaphoid is one of 8 small round bones that sit in 2 rows in the wrist. This cashew-shaped bone is positioned near the base of the thumb, next to (distal to) the long radius bone of the forearm.

Scaphoid fractures almost always are the result of a fall onto an outstretched hand. They can also occur as the result of sports activities or car accidents. Scaphoid fracture symptoms include pain and swelling, but there is rarely bruising and no deformity when a scaphoid fracture occurs, which is why it may be mistaken for a sprain.