A pelvic fracture can be a life-threatening injury, due to the extensive bleeding that severe pelvic fractures may cause, and associated damage to the internal organs. In healthy adults, the most common causes of pelvic fractures are auto accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. If you suffered a fractured pelvis caused by somebody else’s negligent or irresponsible actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries in a personal injury claim. The attorneys at Estey & Bomberger have successfully represented numerous pelvic fracture victims and recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements (see case results).
Types of Pelvic Fractures
Acetabular Fracture: A fracture of the hip socket (acetabulum) is known as an acetabular fracture. This is less common than femoral neck fractures (see femur fracture), and can occur in auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, staircase falls, and slip and fall accidents.
Avulsion Fracture: An avulsion fracture occurs when a tendon (attaches muscle to bone) pulls part of the muscle away from the bone. This type of injury is common in athletes, especially those in their teens. Common sites for avulsion fractures are:
- Where the rectus femoris muscle attaches to the front of the pelvis;
- Where the sartorius muscle attaches to the top front of the pelvis; and
- Where the hamstring muscle group attaches to the part of the pelvis called the ischial tuberosity (the area of your pelvis that you sit down on).
Open Book Fracture: A break in the pubic bone, caused by a front to back (anteroposterior) injury to the pelvis, is known as an open book fracture. This serious type of hip fracture is common in motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents, where the groin is subjected to heavy trauma. The left and right halves of the pelvis are broken, like an open book. This type of fracture usually requires surgical intervention.
Hip Fractures Diagnosis & Treatment
Doctors almost always use x-rays to examine a pelvic fracture, and to determine the severity of the injury and whether or not surgery is necessary. A doctor may also order a computed tomography (CT) scan to look for other injuries commonly associated with a hip fracture. Treatment may consist of:
Nonsurgical Treatment – Rest: Avulsion fractures typically will heal within 6-8 weeks with rest and limited mobility. A doctor may order crutches or a walker, and the patient will not be able to put all of his or her weight on both legs until healing is complete. With this type of treatment, a doctor may prescribe a blood thinner to reduce the risk of blood clots forming in the legs.
Surgical Treatment – Traction: In orthopedic surgery, skeletal traction is used to immobilize, position, or align a fractured bone during the healing process. A metal pin or wire is inserted into the bone. Infection of the pin or wire tract is a possible complication of traction surgery.
Surgical Treatment – External Fixator: With external fixator surgery, pins are inserted below and above the fracture and secured to an external frame, a fixator. Installation of the external fixator is performed in an operating room under general anesthesia. Removal of the external frame can be done under no anesthesia.
Surgical Treatment – Plates & Screws: With acetabular fractures, plates and screws may be surgically inserted to reposition fractured bone fragments.
Complications and Subsequent Problems
Even after healing, pain is common, as well as nerve damage, sexual dysfunction, impaired mobility, and other pulmonary complications, such as pneumonia. It may take months to regain muscle strength after a pelvic fracture. Healing may take longer in older and elderly individuals. Balancing exercises, deep tissue massage, Pilates, and yoga may also facilitate healing months and years after a fracture.
Compensation for Your Pelvic Fracture Injury
If you or a member of your family has suffered any type of pelvic fracture injury in California that you believe may be someone else’s fault, contact Estey & Bomberger for a free and confidential, no-obligation consultation. One of our experienced attorneys will review the facts of the accident, explain your legal options, and answer any questions you may have. If we do represent you in your claim, we will not charge any fees unless we win your case. To see how Estey & Bomberger can help you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries, call (800) 925-0723. Our staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to discuss your case.