The scaphoid is the largest bone of the proximal row of carpal bones. The word scaphoid is derived from the Greek word skaphos which means "a boat". The name refers to the boat-like shape of the bone. Previously it was called the navicular bone (derived from the Latin word navis which means "boat") of the hand. However, there is a tarsal bone in the foot that is also called navicular due to its boat-like shape. The scaphoid is situated at the radial side of the wrist.
The scaphoid is situated below the radius at the radial (lateral) side of the wrist. It has a boat-like shape with many articulation surfaces. Over 80% of the bone is covered in cartilage. On the palmar surface of the bone, there is a tubercle that can be palpated at the base and medial aspect of the thenar eminence when the hand is extended.  It can also be palpated at the base of the anatomical snuffbox.
The scaphoid, together with other carpal bones, provide bony structure to the hand and wrist. It is involved in the movement of the wrist together with the lunate and distal surfaces of the radius and ulna. It forms the radial border of the carpal tunnel and serves as attachment site.
The scaphoid articulates with five bones:
Soft tissue attachments
- The transverse carpal ligament attaches to the tubercle of the scaphoid
- Sometimes a few fibres of abductor pollicis brevis attaches to the tubercle of the scaphoid
- The radial collateral ligament attaches to the lateral surface
Clicking of the scaphoid or no anterior translation can indicate scapholunate instability.