Pelvic Fracture



Pelvic fractures are caused by hard impact injuries such as:

  • Car or motorcycle accidents
  • Being run over by something heavy
  • Falls
  • High-impact sports injuries

Risk Factors

Things that raise the risk of a pelvic fracture are:

  • A history of falls
  • Playing sports
  • Weak bones, such as with— osteoporosis
  • Decreased muscle strength



Symptoms of a pelvic fracture may be:

  • Pelvic or groin pain
  • Pain upon walking, or not being able to walk
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Feeling of a pulled muscle


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.

Blood and urine tests may be done.

Imaging tests of the area may be taken to look at injuries in the area. The may include:

  • X-rays
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Urethrography and cystography—urinary tract images
  • Angiography —images of blood vessels



The goals are to heal the fracture, ease pain, and prevent other problems. Serious problems such as bleeding or shock will need care right away. The pelvis bones will be wrapped to set them in place.

Treatment depends on how serious the fracture is.

Minor, stable fractures will heal without surgery.

Unstable fractures will need surgery. Options are:

  • An external fixation device to hold the bones in place. Screws are placed through the bones to a frame outside the pelvis.
  • Pins, screws, or plates are placed inside the bones to hold them in place.

Care will also include:

  • Medicines to ease pain and prevent blood clots
  • Bed rest—to help the bones heal
  • Physical therapy—to help keep bones and muscles working

Healing can take 4 weeks to several months. It depends on how severe the injuries are.


Most fractures are due to accidents. Some can be prevented with proper safety.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.