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Pelvic Avulsion Fractures In Adults
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- 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 bone suddenly tightens so hard it pulls off part of the bone. Pelvic avulsion fractures are usually caused by activities or sports that need speed and sudden stops. Hurdlers, sprinters, long-jumpers, and soccer players are more likely to have a pelvic avulsion fracture.
- You may feel a pop or have a sudden pain in the hip or groin. The groin is the area where your abdomen (stomach) meets your upper leg. You may also have trouble moving your hip and leg or trouble sitting or walking.
- Tests to diagnose a pelvic avulsion fracture may include hip x-rays or a bone scan. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computerized tomography (CT) scan may also be done. Treatment will depend on how severe the fracture is. Sometimes only rest and exercises are needed to heal the fracture. Surgery may be needed for fractures that are severe or do not heal with other treatments. Ask your caregiver for more information about these tests and treatment.
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- An injury to your hips may cause other problems. The bones may not go back to how they were before the injury. The bones may not fit back together on their own and may need surgery. The muscles around the fracture may be affected and may cause weakness. You may have problems with your leg or foot if a nerve is blocked by the fracture.
- You may get a blood clot in your leg. This can cause pain and swelling, and it can stop blood from flowing where it needs to go in your body. The blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. This problem can be life-threatening.
- Early diagnosis of how bad your fracture is and follow-up are very important. Call your caregiver if you have concerns about your fracture, medicines, or care.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
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- 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.
You may have one or more of the following:
- 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.
- Computerized tomography scan: This is also called a CT or CAT scan. This is a type of x-ray that uses computers to take pictures of your hip area. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help your caregiver see the pictures better. People who are allergic to iodine or shellfish (lobster, crab, or shrimp) may be allergic to some dyes. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to shellfish or have other allergies or medical conditions.
- Magnetic resonance imaging scan: This is also called an MRI. The test uses magnetic waves to take pictures of your hips.
- X-rays: You may need x-rays of your hips to check for broken bones or other problems in your hip.
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.
A pelvic avulsion fracture that is severe or does not heal with other treatments may need surgery. Surgery may be done by putting the bones together using metal pins, screws, or plates. This helps return the bones to their normal position.
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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.