With the most recent of news of the KC Royals manager recovering from a pelvis fracture after falling from a tree stand, I felt compelled to blog a little blurb about pelvis fractures. Not all pelvis fractures are created equal, and recovery from a pelvis fracture is not always black and white. These types of fractures can range from a very benign injury to a life threatening medical emergency. Before we dive deeper into pelvis fractures, how about a little anatomy lesson?
Grandma can suffer a pubic rami fracture from a low force impact simply by falling on her bottom from a standing position. These low force fractures often occur due to having severe osteoporosis. These types of fractures can be painful and slow to recover from. This is treated by protecting the weight bearing on the effected side for 6-12 weeks while the fracture heals.
Occasionally, an elderly patient or an injury caused by a high impact force will cause a fracture through the acetabulum of the hip, or the socket. These can have a high mortality rate, and obviously require surgical intervention and extensive rehabilitation.
There are major arteries and nerves that run through the pelvic region down into the legs. With more severe injuries, there can be associated vascular and or nerve injuries. If there is life threatening bleeding from vascular injury, it needs to be addressed first before the fractures can be treated. Injuries that severe have the potential to cause long term or even permanent damage.
Once the fractures are addressed and treated with either surgical or conservative measures, the patient will be up and out of bed as soon as possible with the help of a trained therapist of home health care personnel. The longer they are in bed, the higher the chance of developing a blood clot (DVT), infection, pneumonia, bedsore, or other condition related to bed rest. If these occur, it could add complications to the patient’s recovery, and who has time for that?!