Pelvic fracture surgery is performed by a trained surgeon in order to stabilize various displaced fractures or dislocations in the pelvic ring, which is the bony structure that connects your spine to the upper end of your legs. These misalignments are often caused by traumatic events such as a fall or a collision with a hard surface.
Without this procedure, there might be severe pain in the patient that stems from unequal leg length. The body might develop scoliosis (the spine is curved on the side) to compensate for the pelvic displacement. The final goal of the surgery is to enable the patient to retrieve a proper anatomy and to begin rehabilitation towards a normal posture.
There exists two techniques for pelvic fracture surgery:
Pelvic external fixation
The pelvis is realigned by drilling pins into the iliac bones that are connected with bars and clamps which will hold the structure together.
Pelvic internal fixation
After the dislocation or fracture is realigned properly, screws and plates are directly applied to the bone to keep it stabilized.
You often see both methods used at the same time depending on the case and patient.
Like any kind of surgery, there are risks involved with pelvic fracture surgery. First of all, there is a chance of infection after the procedure along with blood clots. Furthermore, the presence of multiple abdominal organs, blood vessels and nerves can become an obstacle to the surgeon himself.
After the treatment, a physical therapist will evaluate the patient and its tolerance towards pain and re-adaptation. Most will need to use crutches for six to ten weeks. The rehabilitation will only be very light at the beginning with gentle motion and movement. It usually takes three to four months to be able to fully recover from the pelvic fracture surgery.