What is a Pelvic Fracture?
A Pelvic fracture is when there are one or more bones broken due to a large force. Symptoms due to a pelvic fracture include:
- Difficulty weight-bearing through one or both legs
- Numbness or tingling into the groin, or thighs
- Pain that keeps you awake at night.
- Pain when you sit
- Stand or walk
- Tenderness or sharp pain anywhere around your pelvis
What causes a pelvic fracture?
To cause a pelvis fracture a large force has to occur such as falls, especially in the elderly, motor vehicle accidents or bike accidents. Stress fractures of the triangular lower back bone (sacrum) have been seen in underweight elite female distance runners. This type of fracture can occur in all age groups, high insensitive exercise individuals and in adolescents who may be undergoing growth spurts.
How do I know if I have a pelvic fracture?
You may have a pelvic fracture if you experience the following:
- tenderness or sharp pain anywhere around your pelvis and severe difficulty turning over in bed, or weight-bearing through one or both legs after a traumatic accident
- pain when you sit, stand, walk or use stairs
- pain, numbness or tingling into the groin, or thighs, associated with bladder habit changes
- pain that keeps you awake at night.
You will need to undergo imaging to confirm your condition, your GP or physiotherapist will be able to refer you to complete these.
How can physiotherapy help with a pelvic fracture?
Pelvic Fractures usually requires 6–8 weeks of non-weight bearing or on crutches to give the pelvic bones time to heal in this time physiotherapy can help with:
- Muscle strengthening – Your physiotherapist will design a exercise program that will help you to regain lost muscle strength in the lower back pelvis and hip region.
- Mobility – Your physiotherapist may suggest exercising in water to help regain movement and to re-establish walking will greatly assist recovery.
What can I do at home and how long until I recover?
It will depend on the location of your fracture whether you can put weight on it. You should consult with your physiotherapist regarding this you may need to use crutches and complete exercises. Commonly It takes 8 – 12 weeks to heal although it should take 2 – 4 weeks to reduce pain.
If you would like to find out more please call us or book an appointment here.
Reference: Australian Physiotherapy Association 2019, Your Body, viewed 19 November 2019, < https://australian.physio/>.