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Pelvic Avulsion Fractures In Adults

What is a pelvic avulsion fracture?

A pelvic avulsion fracture occurs when a part of the pelvic (hip) bone breaks and tears away. This happens when a muscle or tendon connected to the hip bone suddenly tightens so hard that it pulls off part of the bone.

Bones of the Pelvis

What causes a pelvic avulsion fracture?

A pelvic avulsion fracture may occur during certain sports that involve speed and sudden stops. Examples are hurdling, sprinting, long-jumping, or soccer. A pelvic avulsion fracture may also be caused by a car accident.

What are the signs and symptoms of a pelvic avulsion fracture?

You may feel a pop or have sudden pain in your hip or groin during an activity. You may have swelling and trouble moving your hip and leg. The pain is often worse when the affected area is touched.

How is a pelvic avulsion fracture diagnosed?

  • X-rays or a CT scan of your pelvis may be used to check for broken bones. You may be given a dye before the scan. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

  • A bone scan is a test that is done to look at your bones. The bone scan shows areas where your bone is broken. You will get a radioactive liquid, called a tracer, through a vein in your arm. The tracer collects in your bones, and pictures will be taken.

How is a pelvic avulsion fracture treated?

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely.

  • Bed rest will be needed while your fracture heals.

  • Apply ice on your hip for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.

  • Crutches or a walker may be needed to decrease stress on your hips.

  • Surgery may be needed for a pelvic avulsion fracture that is severe or does not heal with other treatments. Surgery helps return the bones to their normal position by putting them together with metal pins, screws, or plates.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have a fever.

  • You have new symptoms.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.

  • You cough up blood.

  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

  • You have increased swelling, pain, or redness in your hip.

  • You have trouble moving your leg or foot.

  • Your leg feels numb.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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