What is a pelvic fracture?
The pelvis is an anatomical region located in the lower part of the trunk. It is funnel-shaped and is delimited by 5 bones: sacrum, coccyx, ilium, ischium and pubis.
In this sense, a fracture of the pelvis is a break that occurs in one or more bones of the pelvis.
There are three different types of pelvic fracture:
- Pulling out of a bony fragment.
- Low-energy fracture, as in patients with osteoporosis.
- High-energy fracture, due to a traffic accident.
Prognosis of the disease
Pelvic fractures are serious injuries, as they affect the integrity of the bones and ligaments. In addition, more severe pelvic fractures may result in bleeding that can be life-threatening or may cause injury to other organs.
Symptoms of pelvic fracture
Generally, a pelvic fracture causes very intense pain in the groin area, even when the person is at rest. When the person tries to walk, the pain increases.
On the other hand, on many occasions, the pelvic bone area is swollen and a hematoma may appear.
In the case of a severe pelvic fracture, injuries affecting other organs may occur. In this way, other types of symptoms may appear, such as the following:
- Appearance of blood in the urine.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Urinary incontinence.
- Bleeding from the vagina or rectum.
Medical tests for pelvic fracture
To diagnose a pelvic fracture, the medical specialist must examine the pelvic area, as well as the range of motion of the hip. In addition, the physician may use a series of medical tests to verify the fracture. These tests are:
- Computed tomography of the pelvis.
When a person believes that he or she has suffered a fracture of the pelvis, it is important to see a medical specialist to diagnose the fracture and to detect other possible injuries.
To check for other injuries, other tests should be performed, such as the following:
- Neurological examination.
- Gynecological examination.
- rectal examination
What are the causes of pelvic fracture?
In young adult patients, pelvic fractures can occur as a result of traffic accidents. Such fractures, in some cases, may cause life-threatening bleeding or may injure other nearby organs.
In older patients, pelvic fractures may be caused by osteoporosis that weakens the bones. In these cases, the fracture may occur as a result of a fall.
Another type of pelvic fracture, known as an avulsion fracture, which mostly affects adolescents, is that which occurs as a result of sports activities.
Can it be prevented?
To prevent pelvic fracture it is important to follow a series of habits to have better mobility and healthier bones:
- Practicing physical exercise on a daily basis.
- Follow a correct diet, with foods rich in calcium and vitamin D.
Treatments for pelvic fractures
Treatment always depends on the type of pelvic fracture.
In the case of a stable fracture, rest and painkillers are generally sufficient. Progressively, the person should start walking, standing up to avoid the weakness of rest.
When the fracture is severe and unstable, treatment is usually surgical to immobilize the pelvis.
The recovery time for pelvic fracture also depends on the injuries that may occur, so the recovery varies from case to case. When it is only a pelvis injury the recovery period usually lasts between 3 and 6 months, but when it is a more complex case, the recovery lasts longer.
Which specialist treats it?
The specialist in charge of treating pelvic fractures is the expert in traumatology.