Pelvic Fracture In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- A pelvic (pel-VIK) fracture (FRAK-chur) occurs when one or more of the pelvic (hip) bones are broken. The pelvic area, or pelvis, is a ring-like structure of different bones in the lower portion of the trunk. Three separate bones, the ilium, ischium, and pubis, make up the pelvis. These bones fuse together as your child gets older. Pelvic fractures are usually caused by direct trauma, such as car accidents or falling from high places. Sports that need quick running starts and quick stopping, like soccer or football, may also break pelvic bones.
- Signs and symptoms of a pelvic fracture include pain, swelling, bleeding, or deformity in the hip area. He may also have trouble moving, sitting, or walking. An x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT) scan may be used for diagnosis. Treatment may include medicines for the relief of symptoms or surgery if the fracture is unstable. The younger your child is, the faster the fracture will heal without further problems. With proper treatment, such as medicine and rehabilitation, your child has a greater chance of having a full recovery.
- Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age: Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
- Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.
Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.
- Your child may need more rest than he realizes as he heals. Quiet play will keep your child safely busy so he does not become restless and risk hurting himself. Have your child read or draw quietly when he is awake. Follow instructions for how much rest your child should get while he heals.
- Exercise: Talk to your child's caregiver before you let him start exercising again. Together you can plan the best exercise program for your child. It is best to start slowly and do more as he gets stronger. Exercising will help make his bones and muscles stronger.
- Sports: Do not let your child play sports, such as football or soccer, while his fracture is still healing. His fractured pelvis may break again, bleed, or bruise easily. Talk to your child's caregiver before you let him start playing sports again.
- Walking and home safety: Your child may need to use crutches or a cane. It is important to use crutches or a cane correctly. Ask your child's caregiver for more information about using crutches correctly. To keep from falling, remove loose carpeting from the floor. Using chairs with side arms and hard cushions will make it easier for your child to get up or out of a chair. You may want to put a chair or a commode inside the shower.
Apply an ice pack to the swollen pelvis to decrease swelling, pain, and redness. An ice pack may be made by putting crushed or cubed ice in a plastic bag or ice pack. Mix some water with the ice to more evenly distribute the cold and cover it with a towel. Place the ice bag on the area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as long as he needs it. If ice is put on the injured area for too long or if it is slept on, it may cause frostbite.
Preventing another pelvic fracture:
- Always secure your child in a safety seat in the car's back seat. Do not start the car until your child's seat belt is fastened. Ask your caregiver for more information about car safety seats. If your child is old enough, he should wear a seat belt when riding in a car.
- Do not leave your baby alone on the bed, changing table, or couch. Place him in a crib or playpen if you must leave him unattended.
- Make sure your child uses a stepladder or a safe stool when reaching for things in high places. Do not let him play or stand on chairs, counters, or other unstable objects.
- Remove things that may cause your child to fall or stumble. Try to keep electrical cords or toys off the floor. Do not use rugs that you or your family can trip on.
Preventing blood clots:
- Ask your child's caregiver if your child needs to elevate his legs. Elevating his legs to the level of his heart will keep blood from staying in his legs. This could cause blood clots.
- As pain decreases, he may need to start moving or walking to improve blood circulation and bone healing. Ask your child's caregiver for an exercise program that may be help your child fully recover.
- Make sure your child's bandages are not too tight.
- Your child may need to wear support socks or stockings. These may help decrease the swelling in his legs until he is walking more. They may also prevent blood from staying in his legs, which may cause blood clots.
Ask your child's caregiver about the proper way to take care of his wound or change his bandages. It is also important to know how often your child's dressings need to be changed.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- Your child's pain is getting worse, even after he has taken his pain medicines.
- Your child's bandage has new stains or a bad odor.
- Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- Your child cannot make it to his next appointment with his caregiver.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's injury, treatment, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your child has trouble breathing or pain in his chest.
- Your child's fixator gets loose or damaged.
- Your child's injured hip, limb, or the area around it turns blue or feels cold and numb.
- Your child's bandage becomes soaked with blood.
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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.