Pelvic Fracture

What is a pelvic fracture, and how is it treated?

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The pelvis is a crucial structure that plays a vital role in providing support, stability, and protection for various organs within the body. However, when a pelvic fracture occurs, it can lead to severe pain, immobility, and potential complications.

In this article, we will explore the anatomy of the pelvis, the different types of fractures, their causes and symptoms, diagnosis, and the range of treatments available at OrthoNeuro. We offer comprehensive services and specialized care for individuals suffering from a range of hip and pelvic conditions. Contact one of our many locations throughout Columbus, Ohio today.

Understanding the Anatomy of the Pelvis

The pelvis is a bony structure consisting of several interconnected bones, including the hip bones (ilium, ischium, and pubis), sacrum, and coccyx. These bones form a ring-like structure that protects vital organs like the bladder, reproductive organs, and intestines. Ligaments and muscles provide stability to the pelvis, allowing it to bear weight and facilitate movement.

A pelvic fracture refers to a break in one or more bones of the pelvis. These fractures can range from minor cracks to more severe breaks, depending on the force and impact involved.

Common causes of pelvic fractures include high-impact trauma such as motor vehicle accidents, falls from heights, or sports injuries. Certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, can also increase the risk of pelvic fractures.

Types of Pelvic Fractures

Pelvic fractures can vary based on the specific pattern of the break and are classified into several types:

  • Closed or Open (Compound) Fractures: A closed fracture occurs when the broken bone does not penetrate the surrounding skin. In contrast, an open fracture (also known as a compound fracture) involves the bone piercing through the skin.
  • Complete Fractures: A complete fracture results in the bone breaking into two separate pieces.
  • Displaced Fractures: A displaced fracture is when a gap forms at the site of the fracture, causing the broken parts of the bone to move out of alignment.
  • Partial Fractures: A partial fracture (also referred to as an incomplete fracture) happens when the fracture does not extend entirely through the bone.
  • Stress Fractures: Stress fractures are characterized by small cracks in the bone caused by repetitive stress or overuse.

In addition to the specific fracture pattern, pelvic fractures are classified as either stable or unstable, based on how much damage has occurred to the structural integrity of the pelvic ring.

  • Stable Pelvic Fracture: A stable pelvic fracture typically involves a single break in the pelvis, and the broken bone fragments remain in their original position. Stable fractures often occur as a result of low-impact events such as minor falls or running.
  • Unstable Pelvic Fracture: An unstable pelvic fracture involves multiple breaks in the pelvis, with displaced ends of the broken bones. These fractures are commonly caused by high-impact events like car crashes.

In addition to the above classifications, there is another type of fracture known as a pelvic avulsion fracture. Avulsion fractures occur when a tendon or ligament tears away from the bone to which it is attached, pulling a small fragment of bone along with it.

The Causes and Symptoms of Different Types of Pelvic Fractures

Most pelvic fractures cause considerable pain. Severe pelvic fractures can result in life-threatening bleeding and may be accompanied by serious injuries to other organs. The causes and symptoms, according to their different types, are as follows:

  • Stable Pelvic Fractures: These fractures are commonly caused by low-energy trauma, such as a minor fall or sports injury. Symptoms may include localized pain, difficulty walking, and tenderness in the pelvic area.
  • Unstable Pelvic Fractures: High-energy trauma, such as a car accident or a significant fall, can cause unstable fractures. Symptoms may include severe pain, inability to bear weight, bruising or swelling in the pelvic region, and signs of internal bleeding (such as lightheadedness or abdominal pain).

Diagnosing Pelvic Fractures

An accurate diagnosis of pelvic fractures is crucial to determine the appropriate treatment plan. At OrthoNeuro, our experienced orthopedic specialists employ various diagnostic techniques, including:

  • X-rays: This imaging technique can reveal the presence and extent of a fracture.
  • CT Scans: Computed tomography provides detailed images of the pelvis, allowing for a more comprehensive assessment of the fracture’s severity and potential associated injuries.
  • MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging may be used to evaluate soft tissue injuries, ligament tears, or other complex fractures.

Treatments Available at OrthoNeuro for Pelvic Fractures

OrthoNeuro’s team of skilled orthopedic surgeons and specialists is equipped to provide personalized and advanced treatments for pelvic fractures. The treatment options for a fractured pelvis may include:

  • Non-Surgical Management: Stable fractures can often be managed conservatively with pain management, rest, and physical therapy to promote healing, restore mobility, and strengthen the surrounding muscles.
  • Surgical Intervention: Severe fractures or fractures with associated injuries may require surgical treatment. OrthoNeuro offers state-of-the-art surgical techniques, such as open reduction and internal fixation, to realign the fractured pelvic bones and promote healing.
  • Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy: OrthoNeuro’s multidisciplinary approach includes a dedicated team of physical therapists who specialize in pelvic injuries. They develop customized rehabilitation programs to enhance recovery, improve strength, and restore function.

Get Pelvic Fracture Treatment Today

When faced with the challenges of a pelvic fracture, choosing a specialized orthopedic care center like OrthoNeuro can make all the difference. With their expertise in pelvic anatomy, comprehensive diagnostic capabilities, and a wide range of treatment options, OrthoNeuro is committed to providing exceptional care to patients with pelvic fractures.

Don’t let a pelvic fracture hinder your quality of life. Trust OrthoNeuro to help you on your journey to recovery. We have multiple locations throughout Columbus, Ohio. Schedule your appointment today!

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