Sacral Fracture

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A sacral fracture is a break in your sacrum. The sacrum is a triangle-shaped bone that is found at the bottom of the spine.

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.

RISKS:

Limited movement may increase your risk of a blood clot in your leg or arm. This can cause pain and swelling, and it can stop normal blood flow. The blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. These problems can be life-threatening. Any injury to your vertebrae (bones in your spine) may also affect your spinal cord. Your spinal cord lies in the center of your vertebrae. Without treatment, a sacral fracture may lead to bladder or bowel problems, sexual problems, or weakness of the lower limbs.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.

  • Medicines to treat pain, swelling, or fever: These medicines are safe for most people to use. However, they can cause serious problems when used by people with certain medical conditions. Tell caregivers if you have liver or kidney disease or a history of bleeding in your stomach.

Physical therapy:

You may need to see a physical therapist to teach you special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function.

Tests:

  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your sacrum. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

  • MRI: This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your sacrum. You may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if you have any metal in or on your body.

  • X-rays: You may need x-rays of the sacrum to check for broken bones or other problems in your hip.

  • Bone scan: This is a test done to look at the bones in your body. The bone scan shows areas where your bone is diseased or damaged. You will get a radioactive liquid, called a tracer, through a vein in your arm. The tracer collects in your bones. Pictures will then be taken to look for problems. Examples of bone problems include fractures (breaks) and infection.

Treatment:

You may need surgery to return the bones to their normal positions. Surgery may also help your caregiver check for other problems in your spinal canal.

© 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.

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.

Learn more about Sacral Fracture (Inpatient Care)

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