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Pelvic Fracture


Overview :

The pelvis is a butterfly-shaped group of bones located at the base of the spine. The pelvis consists of the pubis, ilium, and ischium bones (among others) held together by tough ligaments. With a cavity in its center, the pelvis forms one major ring and two smaller rings of bone that support and protect internal organs such as the bladder, intestines, and rectum. In women, the pelvis also surrounds the uterus and vagina. The pelvis is wider and has a larger cavity in females than in males because it must accommodate childbirth.

Fractures of the pelvis are uncommon, accounting for only 0.3-6% of all fractures. Pelvic rings often break in more than one place. Pelvic fractures range widely in severity. Disruption of the major ring is usually a severe injury while disruption of a minor ring is often not serious. A mild fracture (for example, one that occurs due to the impact of jogging) may heal in several weeks without surgery. However, a serious pelvic fracture can be a life-threatening event requiring emergency medical care and lengthy rehabilitation. The latter type of injury may involve damage to nearby internal organs.

Pelvic fractures are classified as stable or unstable, and as open or closed. A stable fracture is one in which the pelvis remains stable and involves one break-point in the pelvic ring with minimal hemorrhage. An unstable fracture is one in which the pelvis is unstable with two or more break-points in the pelvic ring with moderate to severe hemorrhage. All types of pelvic fractures are further divided into "open" or "closed," depending on whether open skin wounds are present or not in the lower abdomen.




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