Fractured Pelvis in majority of the cases is as a result of high impact traumatic injury such as a motor vehicle accident. A slip and fall in an elderly can cause a Fractured Pelvis due to brittle and weak bones. Since the pelvis is quite close to various vital organs of the body and thus a Fractured Pelvis may result in significant damage to those organs which may be detrimental to the overall health of the affected individual and may require immediate treatment.
In the elderly, a condition called osteoporosis is prevalent which causes the bones to become brittle and weak. This tends to cause a fracture even with slightest trauma to the pelvic region. This article highlights some of the treatment options available to treat Fractured Pelvis.
How Is A Fractured Pelvis Treated?
The treatment for a Fractured Pelvis depends on certain factors like the overall age and health status of the individual and the degree of displacement of the bones. In cases of a nondisplaced fracture where the bones of the pelvis do not go out of alignment then conservative measures are more than sufficient to treat Fractured Pelvis. These treatment options may include assistive walking devices so that not much pressure is put on the pelvic region while ambulating. The physician may recommend use of assistive devices for walking for about three months to allow the bones enough time to heal. Additionally, pain medications in the form of NSAIDs like ibuprofen and Tylenol may be prescribed to get rid of any pain that may be caused due to a Fractured Pelvis. In some cases, a blood thinner may also be prescribed to prevent any blood clots from forming due to the fracture.
For cases where the fracture is displaced and the bones have moved out of alignment then surgical treatment is recommended to fix the Fractured Pelvis. The surgical procedures recommended to treat a fractured pelvis are:
External Fixation: This is quite a common way to fix a Fractured Pelvis. The surgeon will make incisions in the pelvic region and stabilize the pelvis first by placing all the bones in alignment with the help of plates and screws. These plates and screws are then attached to a plate so that the bones do not move out of alignment again.
An external fixator may also be used in some cases to stabilize the bones till the time the bones are completely healed. This maneuver may also be performed in the elderly population as they are not in shape to tolerate length surgical procedures. External Fixator placement will hold the bones in place till an alternative much simpler procedure can be performed.
Skeletal Traction: In this procedure, metal pins are placed in the thighbone or shinbone and the leg is positioned such that all bones of the pelvis are in proper alignment. Small weights are then attached to the pins to apply tension on the leg by pulling it up. The legs are placed in traction till the bones start to heal up. Skeletal traction also provides pain relief to the patient dealing with Fractured Pelvis.
ORIF: Also known as Open Reduction Internal Fixation, in this procedure the displaced bone fragments are first aligned in their normal anatomical position and are then held together in place by screws and plates which are attached to the outer portion of the bone. The screws and plates are left in place till the fracture completely heals and are then removed.
As is inherent to any surgical procedure, there are certain complications which the patient needs to be aware of before consenting for the procedure. These complications are problems with wound healing, especially in patients who have diabetes, infection, damage to nerves, vessels, and adjoining structures, and pulmonary embolism. The surgeon will weigh the risk versus the benefits of each surgical procedure before surgically fixing a Fractured Pelvis.