Skip to Content

Pelvic Fracture In Children


What is a pelvic fracture?

A pelvic fracture is a break in 1 or more of your child's 5 pelvic (hip) bones. This also includes a fracture of the acetabulum, the part of the pelvis that makes up his hip joint. Pelvic fractures can be caused by car accidents, sports activities, physical abuse, or a fall from a great height. A pelvic fracture may also occur during birth, especially as the baby's hip passes through a narrow birth canal.

What are the signs and symptoms of a pelvic fracture?

  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness on your child's pelvic bone area
  • Bruising or swelling on your child's pelvic bone area
  • Leg or thigh bone that turns outward
  • Lower limbs that are not equal in length
  • Problems or pain while moving, sitting, or walking

How is a pelvic fracture diagnosed?

An x-ray or CT scan of your child's pelvis may be taken to check for broken bones. Your child may be given a dye before the scan. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

How is a pelvic fracture treated?

Treatment will depend on the damage and the type of fracture your child has. Your child may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your child's healthcare provider how to give this medicine safely.
  • Bed rest will be needed while your child's fracture heals.
  • Apply ice on your child's 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 help your child walk. They will help take weight off his injured pelvis while it heals.
  • An external fixation device may be put on your child's hips to hold the broken bones together while they heal. Screws or a clamp are used to hold the device to your child's pelvic bones.
  • Surgery may be needed for a severe pelvic fracture. Pins, plates, and screws may be used to hold the bone together.

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child's pain is getting worse, even after he has taken his pain medicine.
  • Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • Your child feels lightheaded, short of breath, and has chest pain.
  • Your child coughs up blood.
  • The area around your child's injured hip turns blue or feels cold and numb.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. 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.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 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 IBM Watson Health

Further information

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