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Pelvic Fracture Guide

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ask: How much physical activity can I resume after a fractured pelvis?

By Anonymous
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I fractured my pelvis 8 months ago (crushed injury as a result of motor vehicle accident). I had surgery and rehad, i am able to ambulate with a limp & some left lower extremity weakness due to sciatia nerve injury I sustained. I am preparing to return to work but I am unsure as my job is physically demanding. I am also concerned because i am experiencing intermittent hip pains. I am a 42 yr old female. My bladder is intact however i am experiencing urinary frequency in the absence of a urinary tract infection.


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There are so many types of fractures that can occur in the pelvic ring. Working w/a horse, he lost his focus and went down on his front knees at a canter. I knew he was going down and I didn't want to be the first thing he hit. I pushed off to the right side of the saddle, trying to avoid being hit, but that didn't work out so well. I am 6 months out from sustaining 5 fractures in my pelvis, 5 broken ribs, 3 broken vertebrae, a concussion and a collapsed lung. No surgery, as the fractures were "stable" and the internal bleeding was controlled at a trauma center. 6 weeks in a wheel chair and 3 weeks w/a walker. Now I walk 3-5 miles daily. I can't run, and sometimes my legs give out. I'm not giving up. I am scheduled for PT every Friday and am looking forward to riding again. There is pain everyday, but I don't take anything anymore, other than a hot bath. Is the pain going to be "forever", unlike my marriage?

October 14, 2013 - 4:22pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Lucy1953)

Hi Lucy

Wow - what a terrible accident - you are lucky you didn't die, although I recognize how serious your injuries are/were.

PT every week (more if you can) will really help but you may be in pain for quite some time due to the nature of your accident and how many fractures and breaks you had. Talk to your doctor about pain management so you don't have to be in pain on such a regular basis. Something you may want to consider for pain is acupuncture - have you thought about this option at all?



October 15, 2013 - 9:59am
Lucy1953 (reply to Susan Cody)

Thanks for you input Susan. I am grateful to be able to walk. I will contact my Dr. regarding the pain. The cold wet days in Washington State really talk to my hips. Even though I am 60, I didn't feel "old" till this happened. I also see a Naturopath in my area and try to deal w/the issues on a more natural level. I have a phobia to RX. I have been on Medicaid since this happened, and there are many things not covered. I will see a chiropractor and an acupuncturist as my finances allow. Thanks again. Lucy

October 15, 2013 - 12:31pm
EmpowHER Guest

hi sorry about your accident. i shattered my pelvis 2 months ago running around with my kids, i did it in mid air i didnt even fall on it. anyway i am trying to find out how soon can i start walkingon my leg the doctors said 12 weeks but i cant handle another month the pain isnt to bad when i try to stand on it. should i wait will i hurt myself even more if i do try. someone help.

February 15, 2013 - 5:13am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Sorry about your fracture!

It's best to wait for as long as your doctor says. Even if you are feeling ok, it doesn't mean the fracture has healed properly and you may do more harm than good by getting back to your routine too early. Another idea is to call your doctor and ask for an evaluation to see if you have indeed healed more quickly than anticipated.

Good luck!


February 19, 2013 - 2:31pm
EmpowHER Guest

I fractured my pelivs 2 months ago,since it was a stable fracture i was managed conservatively,i was immobilised for 6 weeks then adviced physiotherapy....altough my progress is good but i stil have pain in my groin area,inner thigh region when i exercise and when i walk. its told to me that the pain will occur cause i am exercising the musles around the fracture.when will the pain subside completely?is it normal to pain to exs?or is it an indication to stop exs?

April 28, 2010 - 4:29am
Diane Porter (reply to Anonymous)


I'm so sorry you fractured your pelvis, but I'm glad it was a stable fracture.

The fact that your progress is good in physiotherapy is very important. I am glad you are telling your physical therapists about the pain; they are trained in bone and muscle recovery and are good at being able to gauge whether the pain you are feeling is normal recovery pain or is above normal.

Are you doing any weight-bearing exercise? It may be too soon for that. MDguidelines.com says that individuals need to minimize the weight they place on the affected area for as long as three months.

Here's more:

"Bone healing may occur within 6 to 12 weeks; however, the bone strength and the ability of the bone to sustain a heavy load may take up to a year (Chapman). Once healing has occurred, the individual may resume full activities of daily living. It is important to instruct the individual not to overload the fracture site until the bone has regained its full strength. The treating physician should guide the resumption of heavy work and sports."

And here's what the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says:

"Stable fractures, such as the avulsion fracture experienced by an athlete, will normally heal without surgery. The patient will have to use crutches or a walker, and will not be able to put all of his or her weight on one or both legs for up to three months, or when the bones are healed. The doctor may prescribe medication to lessen pain. Because mobility may be limited for several months, the physician may also prescribe a blood-thinner to reduce the risk of blood clots forming in the veins of the legs."

and this:

"Stable pelvic fractures heal well. Pelvic fractures sustained during a high-energy incident, such as an automobile accident, may have significant complications, including severe bleeding, internal organ damage, and infection. However, these are due more to the associated injuries than to the fracture. If these injuries are addressed, the fracture usually heals well. People may walk with a limp for several months because of damage to the muscles around the pelvis. Thse muscles take a long time to become strong again. Subsequent problems, such as pain, impaired mobility, and sexual dysfunction, are usually the result of damage to nerves and organs that is associated with the pelvic fracture."

Does this information help?

It sounds like you are definitely on the road to recovery, and since your injury was just 2 months ago, you're doing really well. Make sure your physical therapists know how intense the pain is on a scale of 1 to 10 so that they can know when it's important to scale back.

April 29, 2010 - 9:07am
Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide

Dear Mona -
I noticed that we haven't heard back from you since you posted your question and Susan responded. I hope you're continuing to recover and have had a chance to talk with your doctor about your bladder problem. We would love to get an update from you and learn more about your progress. Take good care.

September 30, 2009 - 5:44pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Dear Mona

Thank you so much for your question and welcome to EmpowHer!

I thought "ouch!" when I read about your injury - I hope you are managing the pain well.

Only you and your health team will really be able to evaluate when you can get back to work and what kind of work you'll be capable of. If you are still in pain (even intermittent) then you are probably not back to full form again and too much physical exertion may set you back months or cause permanent harm.

Your bladder problem may or may not be connected to your accident. Talk to your doctor about it.

What kind of physical activity do you do for work? What has your health team (doctor/physical therapist) said about their view of your capabilities? You don't want to resume your normal activities yet if it exacerbates your injury. If worst comes to worse, you may need to take on a different job or your old job but with less physical demands.

Please visit our pelvic fracture page here, there's lots of information that can help you: http://www.empowher.com/condition/pelvic-fracture

We wish you the best and look forward to hearing more from you!

September 10, 2009 - 7:06am
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