Abstract A retrospective study of 30 patients presenting with scaphoid non-union was performed. The results showed that eight had been treated in plaster for a mean of 6 weeks and discharged from follow-up. They presented with established non-union at a mean of 60.3 months after the original fracture. Three of these cases have resulted in litigation against the surgeon. A total of 27 patients underwent bone grafting and Herbert’s screw fixation achieving in union in 24. The natural history of scaphoid non-union has been examined in some detail in the literature. These studies have shown that scaphoid non-union is inevitably associated with arthritic changes that become worse with time and that freedom from symptoms is not protective from these changes. Therefore, prompt diagnosis and treatment of scaphoid non-union is vital, whether symptomatic or not, to prevent osteoarthritis developing in the future. Inadequate follow-up of treated scaphoid fractures will result in delayed diagnosis and treatment of non-union with a potentially impaired outcome and even litigation against the surgeon. It is the authors’ advice that all scaphoid fractures treated in a plaster cast are reassessed clinically and radiologically 6 months post-injury.