December 24, 2018

Pelvis fracture: Causes, treatment and recovery

Hip | Trauma

A pelvis fracture is uncommon in adults but requires urgent treatment. Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. OrthoIndy Trauma physicians are located at St.Vincent Indianapolis Level I Trauma Center.


Located at the base of the spine, the pelvis is a ring of bones connecting the spine to your legs. The pelvic bones include the sacrum, coccyx (tailbone) and hipbones.

A fracture in one part of the pelvis is usually accompanied by a fracture or damage in another area in the pelvis.

Pelvis fractures can be stable or unstable based on the fracture pattern or associated ligament injuries.


  • High impact collision such as a car crash
  • Fall from a significant height
  • Bone weakness in older adults with or without a fall

Pelvic fracture symptoms

  • Pain
  • Bruising or swelling in the hip area
  • Inability to bear weight

Physician examination

A broken pelvis can be a medical emergency. Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. OrthoIndy Trauma physicians are located at St.Vincent Indianapolis Level I Trauma Center.

To determine whether you have a broken pelvis, your physician will ask you for a complete medical history and conduct a physical examination. An X-ray can confirm the diagnosis, but on occasion, an MRI or CT scan is necessary.

What is the treatment for a fractured pelvis?

Treatment depends on the area of the break and the alignment of the bones. A physician may recommend nonsurgical treatment such as a walking aid or medication to relieve pain.

Patients with unstable pelvis fractures may require surgery. Surgery is typically performed when the patient is stable enough to undergo surgical treatment.

How long does it take to recover from a fractured pelvis?

In most cases, early movement will be encouraged so patients start walking and performing foot and leg exercises. Physical therapy will help you regain range of motion and strength. Full weight bearing activities are usually acceptable after three months.

Learn more about trauma care provided by OrthoIndy Trauma specialists.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000
Megan Golden

By Megan Golden

Megan Golden worked at OrthoIndy from 2012 to 2019, where she wrote a variety of content for our blog, magazines and inbound campaigns. Megan graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising and communications studies minor.

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