Pelvic Fracture Lawyer
The pelvis is a basin-shaped structure that is located at the base of the spine. It serves to protect abdominal organs and support the spinal column. It comprises the coccyx (tail bone), sacrum, and three hip bones: the ischium, pubis, and ilium. Some of the common problems associated with the pelvis include pelvic fractures. Most broken pelvis cases involve a considerable force through direct blows or blows through the femur (thighbone). They are often the result of traffic collisions, particularly motorcycle crashes. Since the pelvis is located close to organs and major blood vessels, a broken pelvis may cause profuse bleeding and other injuries in need of immediate care.
A pelvic fracture from an accident may be a life-changing injury. If you suffered a broken pelvis in a crash, call our law firm for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our personal injury lawyers in Sacramento are available anytime to answer any questions you may have.
Our law firm has a history of supporting families in California that have sustained traumatic injuries, including pelvic fractures, in life-changing accidents caused by the negligence of others. We are here to help you establish a plan for recovery moving forward. Contact us today to learn more about how our family can help your family.What are the Symptoms of a Fractured Pelvis?
The top symptom of a broken pelvis is a pain in the lower back, hips, or groin which may worsen when moving the legs or walking. Following is a list of other symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding from the rectum, urethra, or vagina
- Difficulty standing, walking, or urinating
- Tingling or numbness in the legs or groin
A physician may diagnose a broken pelvis through a patient experiencing nerve function loss in the lower area of the body, difficulty walking or other movements, and bone tenderness. The patient may also present with injuries to organs located in the pelvic ring area, like the genitals, bladder, kidneys, and intestines. A doctor will order an X-ray which will assist in showing the break.
A computed tomography (CT) scan may be ordered in complex cases for a better image of a fracture. Other imaging procedures may be necessary depending on the severity of the break, such as contrasting studies. This process involves injecting radioactive dye to create images to evaluate structures and organs within the pelvic area, like the blood vessels, bladder, and urethra.How are Pelvic Fractures Classified?
Classification of a broken pelvis includes:
- Stable Fracture: When the bones have stayed in place, there is limited bleeding and one break in the pelvic ring.
- Unstable Fracture: When moderate to severe bleeding occurs, the pelvic rings have two or more breaks.
Both unstable and stable pelvic fractures may be divided into open (compound) fractures. This involves the fragments of bone that have pierced through the skin. In closed fracture cases, there is no break in the skin. Open fractures are especially severe because infection in both the bone and wound may occur once there is a break in the skin. Immediate medical care is necessary for the prevention of infection.How is a Broken Pelvis Treated?
Treatment for a fractured pelvis may be surgical or non-surgical. This depends on the severity of the injury. Factors that determine treatment of the bone fracture may include:
- The patient’s overall condition and related injuries
- The degree to which bones have been displaced
- The pattern of the break
The physician treating the broken pelvis may recommend non-surgical treatment for stable fractures with non-displacement or minimal displacement of the bones. Non-surgical treatments may include:
- A walking aid for the patient to avoid placing weight on the leg. A physician may advise a patient to use a walker or crutch until the bones have fully healed or up to three months, whichever occurs first. If the injuries are above both legs, the patient may need a wheelchair to not bear weight on either leg.
- A physician may prescribe medications for pain management during the recovery process. Blood thinners (anticoagulants) may also be prescribed to decrease the risk of blood clot formations in the veins of the pelvis and those of the legs.
A patient presenting with an unstable fracture of the pelvis may need one or more surgeries. Some of the surgical treatments may include:
- External Fixation: For stabilization of the pelvic area, the physician may use external fixation. In this surgical procedure, the physician inserts metal screws or pins into the bones through small incisions into the muscle and skin. The screws and pins project out of the skin and are attached to carbon fiber bars outside the skin on both sides of the pelvis. In some pelvic fracture cases, the physician uses an external fixator to stabilize the broken bones until the healing process has been completed. In other cases, temporary treatment through an external fixator may be necessary until a physician can perform another procedure for a patient who cannot tolerate a more complex surgical technique.
- Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF): During surgery, the physician first repositions (reduces) the fragments of bone that have been displaced and into proper alignment. The displaced bone fragments are then held together with metal plates or screws that have been attached to the external surface of the bone.
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with the procedure. Before surgical treatment, the physician will go over each of the risks with the patient and ensure that specific measures have been taken to avoid possible complications, including:
- Blood clots
- Damage to blood vessels or nerves
- Issues in the healing process of the wound, such as infection
- Pulmonary embolism, a condition in which involves a blood clot forming in the lungs
The recovery process for a fracture of the pelvis may involve the following:
- Blood Clot Prevention: Early movement is generally encouraged after a surgical procedure. However, mobility after treatment may be subject to some limitations. The physician may prescribe a blood thinner to decrease the risk of blood clots forming in the deep veins of the legs and those of the pelvis.
- Early Ambulation: Also referred to as early movement, physicians encourage early mobilization for patients after surgery. The process involves patients performing leg and foot exercises and walking with weight-bearing restrictions shortly after surgical treatment.
- Pain Management: After a surgical procedure, the patient may experience some type of pain. While this is natural in healing, the physician will work with the patient in reducing pain. This may help speed healing from surgery. A physician often prescribes medications for short-term pain relief. There is a wide array of medicines for pain management, including local anesthetics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioids. A combination of these medications may be used to enhance pain relief while decreasing patient need for opioids.
- Physical Therapy: An important part of rehabilitation in both high-energy and low-energy pelvic fractures is physical therapy. Through specific exercises, the patient will restore range of motion in the hip and regain flexibility. Other physical therapy exercises may help the patient build endurance and strength to better carry out their daily routines.
- Weight Bearing: A physician may recommend a patient use a walker or crutches for a period after surgery. Full weight-bearing is generally permitted when the bones have fully healed or by three months. The patient may require the use of a walking aid or a cane for a longer period.
When an individual has sustained a broken pelvis in an accident, discussing the case with an injury lawyer is essential. The injured party may be subject to mounting medical expenses for ambulance rides, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, prescription medications, and medical equipment like a walker or wheelchair. The injured person may also face considerable intangible losses because of the incident, including pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
If negligence can be proven on the part of the other party or entity, the injured person may be entitled to financial compensation. However, that does not necessarily mean the insurer will be fair when making a settlement offer. Fortunately, a lawyer may advocate in insurance settlement negotiations and in the courtroom, if necessary. For information on how to find a good lawyer for your bone fracture case, watch this video.Why is it Important to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After an Accident?
Insurance adjusters may reach out for a recorded statement or to make an initial settlement offer, both of which are defense tactics used against the injured party to get out of paying them the fair compensation they deserve.
Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial. An attorney will have the resources, skill, and knowledge necessary to determine who was at fault and hold them accountable for damages incurred.Contact a Pelvic Fracture Attorney Today
A fracture of the pelvis may be a life-threatening injury because of the extensive bleeding and trauma to internal organs. If you suffered a broken pelvis in an accident caused by the negligent actions of another party or entity, you may be entitled to the financial recovery of resulting losses through a personal injury claim.
Call our personal injury law firm today for free, friendly advice from our attorneys at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. We are available anytime to answer your questions, go over the facts of your case, and discuss your potential options for recovery.
Photo Credit: By "Milius007" via Pixabay
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