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Pelvic Fracture in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What is a pelvic fracture?

A pelvic fracture is a break in a pelvic bone or hip joint.

Hip and Pelvis

What are the signs and symptoms of a pelvic fracture?

  • Pain, tenderness, bruising, or swelling in your child's pelvic bone area
  • Numbness or tingling in your child's groin or upper thighs
  • Discomfort or pain when your child sits, stands, walks, or has a bowel movement
  • Leg or thigh bone turns outward
  • Legs are not the same length

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 contrast liquid to help a fracture show up better in pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.

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. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not give your child other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to a healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your child's healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Bed rest will help protect your child's pelvis while the fracture heals.
  • Apply ice on your child's 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 help your child walk. They will help take weight off his or her 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.

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

  • Your child suddenly feels lightheaded and short of breath.
  • Your child coughs up blood.

When should I seek immediate care?

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

When should I call my child's doctor?

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child's pain is getting worse, even after he or she has taken 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.

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 Merative 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Further information

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