What are the causes of a fractured pelvis in elderly people?


Quick Answer

Causes of pelvic fractures in elderly people include falls from heights, high-speed vehicle crashes, and minor falls in those with bone-weakening diseases such as osteoporosis, according to Cedars-Sinai. The pelvis is located at the base of the spine and consists of the pubis, ilium and ischium bones held together by tough ligaments in a butterfly shape.

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Full Answer

Elderly people with very weak bones may also fracture their pelvis by standing on one leg and twisting, describes Mayo Clinic. People at highest risk of pelvic fractures include those with decreased bone density, decreased muscle mass, vision problems and muscle problems. Women are at higher risk of pelvic fracture than men because women lose bone mass faster due to the drop in estrogen during menopause. Endocrine disorders such as an overactive thyroid also lead to bone density loss and increase the risk of pelvic fractures.

Pelvic fracture treatment depends on the severity of the injury. Minor fractures may be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and bed rest. Severe injuries with several breaks require emergency intervention to control bleeding and stabilize the injured person, according to Cedars-Sinai.

Surgeons repair severe pelvic fractures with surgical screws, compression screws and side plates, or plates and screws. Surgeons use surgical screws when the fracture occurs where the femur joins the pelvis. They use compression screws and side plates to repair intertrochanteric fractures, and plates and screws to repair hip socket fractures.

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