The pelvis – a group of bones at the base of the spine – surrounds and protects the bladder, intestines, and rectum, and it plays a crucial role in our ability to move. The pelvic bones can break from falls or more traumatic causes such as a car accident.
Some pelvic fractures can heal without surgery, but others require immediate surgery to save the patient's life.
Our orthopaedic trauma team brings together a multidisciplinary group of specialists to react quickly when a pelvic fracture needs immediate attention.
In many cases, pelvic ring fractures are stable injuries, meaning that they will heal without surgery. Patients with stable pelvic fractures often just need time and limited weight bearing on the injured side to allow the fracture to heal.
However, some pelvic fractures are displaced – the bones have moved from the correct place and must be put back before they can heal.
Displaced pelvic fractures can cause significant bleeding and injuries to other organ systems. In these cases, patients may need immediate medical attention to save their lives.
Some pelvic fractures require surgery to heal properly.
Emergency management of pelvic fracture patients often requires the expertise of many specialists, including:
All of these experts play crucial roles, and they must be ready at a moment’s notice.
Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas is a regional referral center for the care of pelvic fracture patients, and is recognized worldwide for its expertise in this field. Parkland is a Verified Level I Trauma Center. It is staffed 24 hours a day by attending trauma surgeons and has both the facilities and the staff expertise to deal with the injured patient at any time.
Pelvic fracture repair is challenging and requires an orchestrated effort from experienced nurses, scrub technicians, radiology technicians, and surgeons.
The orthopaedic trauma team at UT Southwestern has been at the forefront in developing minimally invasive pelvic fracture repair techniques that offer the greatest chance of normal recovery.
These methods allow stabilization of difficult fractures using tiny incisions. This lessens the patient’s pain, speeds recovery, and virtually eliminates the risk of infection, which can be a common complication when larger incisions are used.
Learn more about one of the nation’s top experts in innovative pelvic fracture repair, Dr. Adam Starr, Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.