Munson Health
 
Pelvic Fracture

Back to Document

by Smith N
 

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of a pelvic fracture include:
 

Treatment

A pelvic fracture is a serious injury that may be complicated by injuries to other parts of your body. Proper treatment can prevent long-term complications. Treatment will depend on how serious the fracture is, but may include:

Intial Care

Initial treatment focuses on managing life-threatening problems, such as bleeding or shock. Your fracture may be held in place with a sheet wrap or an external fixation device. With an external fixation device, screws are inserted through the bones and connected to a frame on the outside of your body.
Traction may be used realign and stabilize the fracture if you can't have surgery right away.
Stable fractures will heal without surgery. Unstable fractures are treated with surgery. Some fractures can be set with an external fixation device. Others may require repair with internal pins, screws, or plates.
Extra support may be needed to protect, support, and keep your pelvic bone in line while it heals. Supportive steps using a walker or crutches to help you move around while keeping weight off your legs and pelvis.

Medication

Prescription or over-the-counter medications may be given to help reduce inflammation and pain. Blood thinners reduce the risk of blood clots.
Check with your doctor before taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

Rest and Recovery

Healing time varies by age and your overall health. Young people and those in better overall health heal faster. It may take several months for an unstable fracture to heal.
Complications of a pelvic fracture can be temporary or permanent. These include:
  • Pain
  • Nerve damage, which can affect
    • Mobility
    • Bladder function
    • Sexual function
You will need to adjust your activities while your pelvic bone heals, but complete rest is rarely required.
As you recover, you may be referred to physical therapy or rehabilitation to start range-of-motion and strengthening exercises. Do not return to activities or sports until your doctor gives you permission to do so.
 

RESOURCES

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
http://orthoinfo.org

The American Pediatric Surgical Association
http://www.pediatricsurgerymd.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://www.coa-aco.org

Women's Health Matters
http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca

 

References


Collinge C, Tornetta P III. Soft tissue injuries associated with pelvic fractures. Orthop Clin North Am. 2004;35(4):451-456.


Femoral shaft fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 25, 2014. Accessed August 29, 2014.


Fracture management of unstable pelvic fractures. American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/jul09/clinical8.asp. Accessed August 29, 2014.


Frakes MA, Evans T. Major pelvic fractures. Crit Care Nurse. 2004 Apr;24(2):18-30.


Grotz MR, Allami MK, Harwood P, et al. Open pelvic fractures: epidemiology, current concepts of management and outcome. Injury. 2005;36(1):1-13.


McCormack R, Strauss EJ, et al. Diagnosis and management of pelvic fractures. Bull NYU Hosp Jt Dis. 2010;68(4):281-291.


Mohanty K, Musso D, Powell JN, Kortbeek JB, Kirkpatrick AW. Emergent management of pelvic ring injuries: an update. Can J Surg. 2005;48(1):49-56.


Pelvis Fractures. American Academy of Othopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00223. Updated September, 2007. Accessed August 29, 2014.


Quick TJ, Eastwood DM. Pediatric fractures and dislocations of the hip and pelvis. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005;(432):87-96.


Tornetta P III, Templeman DC. Expected outcomes after pelvic ring injury. Instr Course Lect. 2005;54:401-407.

 

Revision Information