Physical therapy, the use of crutches and, rarely, surgery may be recommended. Healing can take eight to 12 weeks. Severe injuries to the pelvis that involve several breaks can be life-threatening. Shock, extensive internal bleeding and internal organs damage may be involved.
While it is the common consensus that Type B or Type C pelvic ring fractures are severe injuries with a high morbidity risk and mortality rates up to 20% (for Type C injuries), fractures of the anterior pelvic ring are often considered as minor injuries, especially if they are not displaced.
With a broken pelvis you cannot walk, sit or move well without pain. The pelvis protects the bladder, intestines and many important blood vessels. Many of the important leg muscles and abdominal muscles attach to the pelvis and allow for body motion and function.
Physical therapy may also help a fracture heal more quickly than immobilization alone. Exercise increases blood flow, which delivers more oxygen and nutrients to injured parts of the bone, aiding in healing.
Most pelvic fractures heal on their own. The local tissues in the area of the fracture frequently keep the fracture pieces in order and the bones heal with a little rest and good nutrition.
A pelvic fracture is a crack or break in one or more bones in the pelvis. These types of fractures can cause pain and difficulty walking or standing; some may also cause bleeding from pelvic cavities due to the fracture’s close proximity to major blood vessels, and difficulty urinating.
The biggest long term complication of a broken pelvis is the development of arthritis. The main reason doctors operate on these fractures is that they know from past experience that if they leave the fractures in a poor position, although they will often heal, arthritis may follow within five years.
The typical inpatient stay for acetabular fracture surgery is 7 to 10 days.
If you break your pelvis, it can be painful and hard to move, but a broken pelvis isn’t nearly as dangerous or as common as a hip fracture. The pelvis is the ring of bones that sits below your belly button andabove your legs. You usually won’t need surgery to fix a break unless it’s a severe one.
Physical therapy, the use of crutches and, rarely, surgery may be recommended. Healing can take eight to 12 weeks. Severe injuries to the pelvis that involve several breaks can be life-threatening.
A fractured pelvis is almost always painful. This pain is aggravated by moving the hip or attempting to walk. Often, the patient will try to keep his or her hip or knee bent in a specific position to avoid aggravating the pain. Some patients may experience swelling or bruising in the hip area.
Invest in a specialized pillow, like a body pillow, for elevation—keeping the broken bone above your heart prevents blood from pooling and causing swelling. Try sleeping on your back first while propped up on a few pillows. If that doesn’t work, slowly adjust yourself to a side position if possible.
The highly trained team of physicians and therapists at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation has helped many people recover from hip and pelvic fractures. Therapies such as heat and ice, massage, acupressure, and acupuncture aid in relieving pain and reducing inflammation after an injury or surgery.
Major and unstable pelvic fractures are likely to cause severe pain and shock. Pain may be in the pelvis, groin, back, tummy (abdomen), or down the legs. The pelvic bones are large and have a rich blood supply, so when broken they will bleed heavily and the bleeding will not stop quickly.
Resting your hip as much as possible allows the bone to heal. You may need to rest in bed for a while so the pelvic bones can heal. If you are not allowed out of bed, ask caregivers if you may exercise one or both of your legs in bed. Exercise may make your legs stronger and may help stop blood clots from forming.
Guillain-Barré syndrome after pelvic fracture fixation: a rare cause of postoperative paralysis.