Pelvis fractures can happen in any car crash. However, when cars collide at high speeds, the people in the vehicles are vulnerable to all manner of injury despite using safety restraints and riding in a car that is well-equipped with airbags. The sheer power of the forces imparted on the human body in a high-speed crash can cause bones to break easily.
Fractures of the pelvis can have life-altering consequences for the victim of an auto accident. Some pelvic fractures can injure the internal organs the pelvis protects, thereby causing internal bleeding. Undetected internal bleeding can lead to hemorrhagic shock and eventually death by exsanguination or “bleeding out.” Even if the accident victim does not sustain an injury that caused internal bleeding, a pelvis fracture is incredibly painful, takes a long time to heal, and might result in future aches and pains including a limited range of motion.
The Function of the Pelvis
Understanding the function of the pelvis provides insight as to why a pelvic fracture can be a catastrophic injury. The human pelvis is a bony ring that emanates from the bottom of the spine above the tail bone attached by two joints called the sacroiliac joints and wraps around to the front. A piece of cartilage joins the two halves of the ring in the front on the part of the pelvis called the pubic symphysis. This ring protects organs that sit within such as the reproductive organs, the bladder, lower intestine, nerves, and blood vessels leading toward the lower leg.
The pelvis serves another vital function as well. The pelvis is the weigh-baring bone and carries a human’s weight while sitting and while standing. The pelvis also transfers weight from one leg to the other while walking. Additionally, if the pelvic bone breaks a particular way, the broken bone can cut or tear organs, nerves, and blood vessels. Thus, when the pelvis is damaged, the body cannot properly function, and recovery is slow and painful.
Types of Pelvis Fractures in High-Speed Car Crashes
Severe trauma from a car crash, fall, or crushing injury can damage the pelvic structure. Repairing the trauma and returning the pelvis to a healthy state may require multiple surgeries. However, the type of injury and the collateral damage caused by the injury will dictate the treatment needed to repair the bone. Physicians will treat the internal bleeding first and then attend to the broken bones.
For example, an anterior-posterior compression fracture is one in which the sacroiliac joints pull apart because a force outside the body caused the joints open from front to back or vice versa. A person who experiences a compression fracture of the pelvis is at high risk for internal bleeding. Surgeons will need to stop the bleeding before assessing and repairing the orthopedic injury.
Similarly, a lateral compression fracture happens when the bone breaks on the sides of the pelvis. Pieces of bone can be pushed into and puncture the bladder. This type of pelvic fracture is akin to a high-speed sheer injury. The bone becomes completely dislodged and forced into the organs, nerves, and blood vessels the pelvis protects. Physicians will be alert for severe internal bleeding when they treat a patient with this type of injury.
The last category of pelvis fractures is the complex pattern injury. A complex pattern injury is the presences of two or more types of fractures described above.
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation
Have you or a loved one been harmed in a car accident?Click To Get A Free Case Review