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What are some complications of a fractured pelvis?

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Quick Answer

Complications of a fractured pelvis can include internal organ damage, infection and severe bleeding, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states. A pelvic fracture can also cause long-term pain, sexual dysfunction and impaired mobility. Complications of a pelvic fracture generally only arise after severe pelvic fractures, including those due to high-energy impacts, such as car accidents. Most pelvis fractures are of this more traumatic type. Minor, stable pelvic fractures generally heal well and cause few complications.

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The pelvis is a structure of bones that forms a ring through which pass several digestive and reproductive organs, according to American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Several muscles from the trunk and legs attach to the pelvis. Large nerves that supply the legs also pass through the pelvis. All of these structures are at risk of damage from a pelvis fracture. Damage to the muscles attached to the pelvis can result in a limp, and the muscles can take a long time to return to their full strength.

The bleeding due to a severe pelvic fracture requires emergency medical attention, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states. Repairing such a fracture requires surgical procedures and special appliances that screw into the bones to keep them stable to allow the safe repair of other systems. Afterward, doctors use traction, implanted plates and screws, or external stabilizers to keep the bones in place for healing.

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