A pelvic fracture is defined as a condition where hip bones are broken. This type of injury is a lot common in car accidents, falling from a height or any other accident that involves a high-speed impact. At times athletes suffer from a similar injury when a sudden movement tears the muscles from the pelvic bone. These fractures are not considered serious (that is life-threatening), and a person could recover by taking enough bed rest, using crutches for a while. However, the patient should not try to put excessive pressure on their hips by doing things like exercise or trying to pick up heavy objects.
Signs of Pelvic Fracture
Some of the common symptoms of a pelvic fracture are pain in the lower back, groin, and hip area. This pain may become worse while trying to move your legs or walk. A doctor usually diagnoses a pelvic fracture by looking at the bones for tenderness, loss of nerve function in the lower body, injuries to the organs in the pelvic region, and an X-ray scan. In complicated cases, a Computed Tomography (CT) scan would be needed to assess the fracture.
Treatment of A Pelvic Fracture
The treatment for a pelvic fracture depends on the seriousness of the injury. In case of a minor fracture, all you need is bed rest and a few nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. With the aid of physical therapy and the use of crutches, a person might recover within three-months. A serious injury could be fatal, especially if the organs in the pelvic region are damaged. Internal bleeding or shock should be treated as soon as possible. In these cases, surgery is necessary to save lives and subsequent operations to fix the pelvic fracture. Unlike minor injuries, this sort of injury takes a long time to get fixed, and the patient needs to go through extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation. To properly fix the bones, a surgeon might need to attach the bones using certain tools such as
- Surgical Screws which are commonly used in case of a fracture near the femur and hip joint. Screws might also be needed if the bone has been dislocated. Older people might even require a hip replacement.
- Compression screws and side plates are used to fix the injury when it is necessary to hold the broken bones in place. It allows the top of the femur to move in the socket without any difficulty.
- Plates and screws might be used after surgical cleaning of the fracture and reposition of fracture fragments, especially if the hip socket has been fractured.
How to Sleep with a Fractured Pelvis?
A lot of people face difficulties when they need to sleep with a fracture or a broken bone. The application of a cast over the affected area severely reduces the mobility of the patient. So, to sleep properly with a broken pelvis or a pelvic fracture, you should consider following the advice given below.
- First, take all the medicines that the doctor has prescribed at least an hour before you go to sleep. This one hour would allow the medication to take effect.
- You should also consider getting yourself a specialized pillow (a body pillow would be great) to provide elevation. Use this pillow to keep the hip above the heart to prevent any pooling of blood and swelling.
- Ideally, you should try to sleep on your back with a pillow under your hip. If you find it uncomfortable, then you could try to sleep on your side. But change your position carefully.
- Always leave a dim light on in your bedroom. It will help you find your way around a lot easier if you need to get up in the middle of the night.
- The cast is heavy, and most of the time it is not ventilated properly. So, you should try to sleep in light and loose-fitting clothes for extra comfort.
- The cast would make you uncomfortable, and, unknowingly, you might change your sleeping position at night. So, it would be better if you sleep in the middle of the bed to prevent accidentally falling.
- You should ask your children and even your partner to sleep in another room for a couple of weeks as you figure out what is the best position for you to sleep with the injury. By sending them onto another bed, you also reduce the risk of accidentally hitting them with the cast.
- At times, you might realize that your bed is not comfortable enough for your injury. In such a scenario, try sleeping on a sofa, reclining chair, or a chaise lounge.
- Always ensure that someone is there with you in the house in case you need assistance while you are sleeping.
- In case you face any difficulty or pain while sleeping, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Fractured Pelvis FAQs
How Long Does A Pelvic Fracture Take to Get Fixed?
A minor pelvic fracture would take anywhere around 12-16 weeks to get fixed. In case of a serious fracture, the patient might need nearly six months of physical therapy and rehabilitation to get better.
How to Sleep Properly When Suffering from A Pelvic Fracture?
You should sleep in comfortable clothes with a special pillow to support your pelvis in the middle of the bed. You should also ask your partner to shift into another room or a separate bed so that you don’t cause discomfort to them.
What Are the Common Signs of a Pelvic Fracture?
As pelvic fractures are a result of accidents that involve high speed, they could be easily diagnosed at the hospital. Otherwise, a pelvic injury results in pain in the lower back and groin area, difficulty in walking, or on moving the legs.
How Is A Pelvic Fracture Treated?
A minor fracture will be treated by advising bed rest and providing pain killers. In case of a severe pelvic injury, multiple surgeries might be required to save life and fix the damage.