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What is a pelvic fracture and how can it occur?

High-speed car crashes can be physically devastating. There are countless injuries that can occur, and some can be very serious. A pelvic fracture, for example, can range from minor to severe and even be life threatening. Even in the most minor cases, the victim is likely in for a lengthy road to recovery.

Pain in the pelvic region is one of the primary signs. If you have any pain in your pelvis or are having trouble bearing weight on your legs, you need to get emergency medical care as soon as possible. An evaluation, including x-rays, can help you to receive a diagnosis.

What are the symptoms of pelvic fracture?

You might immediately notice the pain. However, there are other signs that can point to a pelvic fracture. You may be bleeding from the rectum, vagina or urethra. Your legs may feel numb or tingle. Abdominal pain and difficulty urinating are also possible. More than likely, you will notice the initial symptoms at the scene of the crash. The exception is if there is a hairline fracture. In this case, you might not notice any symptoms until the fracture worsens.

Why are pelvic fractures so dangerous?

The pelvis is made up of several bones that are held together by ligaments. The main ring and two smaller rings keep the rectum, bladder and intestines supported. Damage to the pelvic bones can lead to these organs being damaged, which can be life threatening. In many cases, more than one area or bone is broken in a high-impact crash.

These fractures are divided into classifications. An unstable one involves moderate to severe bleeding with two or more breaks. A stable one has limited bleeding and only one break in the bones that don't allow the bones to move around.

What is the recovery process like?

The exact treatment plan depends on the location of the fracture, the severity of it, and the impact the injury is having on you. Minor cases might require only medication management and bedrest while the area heals. More serious cases can require surgical intervention and intensive treatments to deal with internal bleeding, shock and organ damage.

At a minimum, a person with a pelvic fracture can expect to go through a healing period of at least eight to 12 weeks. There is a chance that physical therapy and other rehabilitation options will be necessary after the area is healed enough to use.

Victims of high-speed wrecks that lead to pelvic fractures may be unable to work until they heal. This can put them into a financial bind. If the fracture is a result of someone else's negligence behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your injuries by bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.

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