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Broken pelvis: causes and treatment

  1. Getting a pelvic fracture is no fun, especially if you are a bit older. Usually, a pelvic fracture is caused by a fall in the elderly and by a traffic accident or a fall from a great height in the young. Different treatments are available depending on the severity and nature of the fracture. The doctor will determine which treatment is most suitable.

What is the pelvis?

  1. In the human body, the pelvis - pelvis in Latin - is a set of bones between the abdomen and the legs. The pelvis is composed of four bones: the right and left hip bone, the sacrum, and the coccyx. This set of bones forms a solid, cup-shaped ring, the pelvic ring, and connects the spine to the lower limbs. The pelvis has an important function in providing correct posture and in the movement of the body. It lies roughly in the center of the skeleton and moves with the trunk and also with the legs. It carries the entire weight of the upper body. Furthermore, the pelvis also forms a protective cup for internal organs. The upper part of the pelvis is called the great pelvis or pelvis major and the lower part is called the lesser pelvis or pelvis minor. The large pelvis is the lower boundary of the abdominal cavity; this is where the intestines lie. The genitals, rectum and bladder are located in the pelvis. Because a woman must be able to give birth to a child, the woman's pelvis is wider and has a more rounded pelvic entrance compared to the man's pelvis.

What is a pelvic fracture?

  1. One speaks of a broken pelvis or pelvic fracture when one or more bones or bone parts in the pelvis are broken. Pelvic fractures can be mild to severe. There are two categories of pelvic fractures:

How is a pelvic fracture caused?

  1. For the possible causes of pelvic fracture, we must distinguish between pelvic fracture in young people and pelvic fracture in the elderly.

What are the symptoms?

  1. Pain is of course the main symptom, after all it is a fracture. The person in question feels pain in the groin, hip and pelvic area. Walking is impossible because of the pain. Swelling can develop in the injured area. Numbness can occur in the legs due to a nerve in the hip being hit. Urinating may be difficult and there may be blood in the urine from the bladder being hit. When the pelvic ring is broken in several places, very heavy bleeding can occur because the veins in the inside of the pelvis are hit by shifting bone fragments. The blood loss can be so severe that the person goes into shock.

Treatment of a pelvic fracture

  1. After a diagnosis has been made by physical examination, X-ray and / or CT scan, the doctor determines which treatment should be used.

Conservative treatment

  1. When it comes to a stable pelvic fracture in which the bone parts have not shifted, the treatment consists of bed rest and pain relief. It takes a few weeks before the pain decreases and the pain relief can be reduced. Under the guidance of a physiotherapist, the patient can slowly start walking again. The physical therapist will also provide exercises to strengthen the muscles around the pelvis. It takes an average of six to twelve weeks for the fracture to heal.

Operative treatment

  1. An unstable pelvic ring requires surgery. The broken bone parts have shifted too much and an internal fixation or an external fixation should restore the stability of the pelvic ring. With an internal fixation, the pelvis is internally stabilized with a plate and screws. With an external fixation, the doctor places pins in the pelvic bone through small openings in the skin. These pins are connected to each other on the outside in a frame. In an acute phase, if there is severe blood loss, the doctor will immediately apply an external fixation to stabilize the pelvic ring. Because the parts of the pelvis no longer move in relation to each other, the bleeding will decrease.

  2. An unstable pelvic ring requires surgery. The broken bone parts have shifted too much and an internal fixation or an external fixation should restore the stability of the pelvic ring. With an internal fixation, the pelvis is internally stabilized with a plate and screws. With an external fixation, the



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