Pelvic Fractures

Our surgeons lead a regional service for pelvic reconstruction. A broken pelvis (fractured pelvis) is usually due to a high energy injury (road traffic accident)  and sometimes the injuries can be life-threatening. Patients may have sustained other injuries varying from other broken bones, to injuries of the head, chest, and abdomen.

The pelvis is a ring structure and is often broken in multiple places. It is an important part of the skeleton as it connects the legs to the spine and is a key component of being able to walk normally. The pelvis also houses some vital structures, e.g. bladder, bowel, nerves, blood vessels, and reproductive organs. Patients who injure their pelvis can therefore injure any of these structures.

Fortunately these very severe pelvic injuries are relatively rare.

Not all pelvic fractures require surgery: we operate on around 50% of the injuries we see. Patients who do not undergo surgery are treated with early mobilisation and crutches with protective weight bearing for around 6 weeks.

The principles of surgery are the make an unstable ring into a stable one. There are a variety of techniques to do this. Following surgery, patients are mobilised with crutches for a period of 6 weeks.

Rehabilitation is very important in achieving an optimal result, physiotherapy is essential to regain muscle function. In the early phase, hydrotherapy is very effective.

Patients who sustain pelvic fractures and undergo surgery are very prone to developing a clot (Deep Vein Thrombosis). We give anticoagulants for 6 weeks following surgery to minimise this risk.