Wrist Fracture (Scaphoid or Navicular): Rehab Exercises

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Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of typical rehabilitation exercises for your condition. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or your physiotherapist or occupational therapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Wrist flexion and extension

Picture of how to do wrist flexion and extension exercises
slide 1 of 5
slide 1 of 5, Wrist flexion and extension,
  1. Place your forearm on a table, with your affected hand and wrist extended beyond the table, palm down.
  2. Slowly bend your wrist to move your hand upward and allow your hand to close into a fist, then lower your hand and allow your fingers to relax. Hold each position for about 6 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Hand flips

Picture of how to do hand flips
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slide 2 of 5, Hand flips,
  1. While seated, place your forearm and affected wrist on your thigh, palm down.
  2. Flip your hand over so the back of your hand rests on your thigh and your palm is up. Alternate between palm up and palm down while keeping your forearm on your thigh.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Thumb adduction/abduction

Picture of how to do thumb adduction/abduction
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slide 3 of 5, Thumb adduction/abduction,
  1. With your affected hand, point your fingers and thumb straight up. Your wrist should be relaxed, following the line of your fingers and thumb.
  2. Pull your thumb away from your palm as far as you can. Hold that position for about 6 seconds. Then slowly move your thumb back to the starting position, with your thumb resting against your index (pointing) finger.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Thumb flexion/extension

Picture of how to do thumb flexion/extension
slide 4 of 5
slide 4 of 5, Thumb flexion/extension,
  1. Place your affected hand on a table with your thumb pointing up.
  2. Bend your thumb downward and across your palm so that your thumb touches the base of your little finger. Hold that position for about 6 seconds. Then straighten your thumb.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Elbow flexion and extension

Picture of how to do elbow flexion and extension
slide 5 of 5
slide 5 of 5, Elbow flexion and extension,
  1. Stand with your arms relaxed at your side.
  2. With your affected arm, gently bend your elbow up toward you as far as possible.
  3. Then straighten your arm as much as you can.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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