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Pelvic Fracture

AMBULATORY CARE:

A pelvic fracture

is a break in a pelvic bone or hip joint.

Hip and Pelvis

Common signs and symptoms:

  • Pain, tenderness, bruising, or swelling in your pelvic bone area
  • Numbness or tingling in your groin or upper thighs
  • Discomfort or pain when you sit, stand, walk, or have a bowel movement
  • Leg or thigh bone turns outward
  • Legs are not the same length

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
  • You cough up blood.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • Your legs and feet turn blue or feel cold and numb.

Call your doctor or orthopedist if:

  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • Your pain or swelling increases.
  • You have new symptoms.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment

depends on the kind of fracture you have. You may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Bed rest will help protect your pelvis while the fracture heals.
  • Apply ice on your hip joint or pelvis 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 before you apply it. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Crutches or a walker may be needed to keep weight off the bone until it heals.
  • An external fixation device may be put on your hips to hold the broken bones together while they heal. Screws or a clamp will be used to hold the device to your pelvic bones.
  • Surgery may be needed for a severe pelvic fracture. Metal pins, screws, or plates may be used to hold your pelvic bone together.

Limit activity as directed:

Get plenty of rest while your fracture heals. When the pain decreases, begin normal, slow movements. Slowly start to do more as directed. Rest when you feel it is needed. Do not lift heavy objects.

Physical therapy:

A physical therapist may teach you exercises to strengthen your hips and legs after the pain is gone.

Follow up with your doctor or orthopedist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.