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A broken pelvis or pelvic fracture from a car accident or another incident can be a life-altering personal injury. It’s not only often completely immobilizing, sometimes requiring surgery and traction to set right, but it could also cause organ damage, internal bleeding, and infection.
Time off from work is common, and a broken pelvis could end up sticking you with a partial or complete disability. Even the most minor pelvic injury that requires only bed rest, anti-inflammatories, and painkillers could still take several weeks to heal in normal healthy adults. Medical bills and lost wages are an added insult for sufferers of broken pelvises.
Here’s What It Means to Have a Broken Pelvis
Before we look into what happens when you have a broken pelvis, it’s important to examine just what a pelvis actually is. Your pelvis is a butterfly-shaped group of bones held together by tough ligaments and is connected to the base of the spine. The pelvis serves to house and protect your bladder, intestines, and rectum, according to Cedars-Sinai.
There are two main categories of pelvis fractures, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:
- Stable fracture – One single point of fracture with little to no bleeding and no risk of shifting bones.
- Unstable fracture – Breaks in a pelvic bone or bones, internal bleeding and a high risk of shifting bones that may damage tissue and internal organs.
Minor slips and falls tend to lead to stable pelvic fractures. These are seen often in elderly adults who could suffer from osteoporosis, a bone weakening disease.
Unstable pelvic fractures are the more serious of the two, and can be life threatening. Recovery is complicated long and painful battle. People with unstable pelvic fractures often have other injuries and complications due to the violent nature by which unstable pelvic fractures usually occur.
Causes of a Broken Pelvis
Your pelvis is a strong structure. However, when it’s fractured, it is usually because of a violent personal injury accident such as a high-speed car crash, a pedestrian getting hit by a fast-moving vehicle, or a hard slip and fall down a flight of stairs.
Another cause of a broken pelvis is a fall from a dangerous height. Construction workers and line workers who work above the ground are at risk of falling and fracturing their pelvis. Motorcycle riders are also at a much higher risk to suffer a broken pelvis.
Symptoms and Treatment of a Broken Pelvis
- Symptoms of a broken pelvis are hard to miss, especially when associated with an accident or fall. You may experience some or all of the following:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Numbness and tingling in the groin and legs
- Trouble with urination and bowel function
- Trouble walking or standing
Stable pelvic fractures can often be treated with bed rest, pain medication and physical therapy. You will need some time off of work, but a full recovery is likely and you can get back to at least light activity in as little as a few weeks.
Unstable pelvic fractures often require delicate care, and risky invasive surgery to prevent or repair organ damage, stop bleeding, and prevent infection, according to Cedars-Sinai. Pins, plates, and screws are all used for pelvic reconstruction and traction is often necessary. Extensive time off of work is necessary. Recovery times can last many painful months.
Saddled with Medical Bills for an Injury That Wasn’t Your Fault?
There are circumstances in which a broken pelvis isn’t your fault — car accidents and slip and falls are prime examples of injury caused by the negligence of someone else. But that doesn’t matter to your bank account: it’s still drained because of medical bills and lost wages, among other expenses.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. If you’ve have suffered a broken pelvis and it wasn’t your fault, you might be entitled to compensation. An experienced broken pelvis attorney can help. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a consultation to get what you deserve.