Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can one reset a broken pelvis?"

ZocdocAnswersCan one reset a broken pelvis?


My sister was just in a car wreck, and now she's at the hospital with a broken pelvis (they think - they're doing scans now). What are the long term effects of a broken pelvis, and what is the procedure like to treat it? Is it a bone that has to be ""reset"", or will she have to be immobilized?


This sounds like a serious situation, and your sister should absolutely be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon. There are many different ways one can fracture the pelvis, and the most common cause is trauma, such as a car accident. In minor cases, the patient may not need surgery, but may only require a brace and a period of bedrest. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary, and the amount of fixation required will depend on the severity of the injury. In these cases, the patient will also likely be immobilized in a brace for an extended period of time (likely weeks). The particular procedure to fix the fracture will also depend on the fractures seen on the imaging studies performed and the functional status of the patient (healthier patients can tolerate more extensive surgery). Pelvic fractures can be very serious, and generally have a long recovery period. Patients are often immobile for a period of weeks, and will most likely require some amount of physical therapy to regain full strength and mobility. Some patients will not return to their previous baseline of functional status. Unfortunately, this is a serious condition, and an orthopedic surgeon should definitely be consulted to evaluate your sister and her imaging studies before any plan for treatment is made.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.