Broken Pelvis: Care Instructions
Your Care Instructions
The pelvis is the ring of bones between your hips. It connects to the spine and to the leg bones at the hip joints. Blood vessels, nerves, and muscles run through the pelvic ring and can be affected by a break. A broken pelvis also can affect the organs in your pelvic area.
A broken pelvis may need a few months to heal. You may have had surgery to repair your pelvis, depending on where it was broken and how bad the break was. Your doctor may have put metal screws, pins, or a rod in your pelvis to fix the break. In some cases, surgery is not needed. While your pelvis heals, you will need to keep weight off the hips. Once you are able to walk, a walker or crutches can help you get around. You can help your pelvis heal with care at home. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to relieve pain and prevent blood clots.
You heal best when you take good care of yourself. Eat a variety of healthy foods, and don't smoke.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results, keep a list of the medicines you take, and follow up with your doctor about your bone health.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Put ice or a cold pack on the painful area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when you are awake). Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
- Be safe with medicines. Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
- If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
- If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
- Put only as much weight on each leg as your doctor tells you to. Your doctor may advise you to use crutches, a walker, or a cane to help you walk.
- Avoid constipation.
- Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fibre.
- Drink plenty of fluids. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
- Get some exercise every day, once you are able to walk and your doctor tells you it is okay to exercise. Build up slowly to at least 2½ hours of moderate to vigorous exercise a week.
- Take a fibre supplement, such as Benefibre or Metamucil, every day if needed. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Schedule time each day for a bowel movement. Having a daily routine may help. Take your time and do not strain when having a bowel movement.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You have chest pain, are short of breath, or you cough up blood.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have new or worse pain.
- Your foot is cool, pale, or changes colour.
- You have tingling, weakness, or numbness in your foot and toes.
- You have signs of a blood clot in your leg (called a deep vein thrombosis), such as:
- Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
- Redness or swelling in your leg.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
- You do not get better as expected.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter I876 in the search box to learn more about "Broken Pelvis: Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 5/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services