Broken Pelvis: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Hip anatomy

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 call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

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.
  • 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. He or she 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, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. 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 30 to 60 minutes a day on 5 or more days of the 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 sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have increased or severe pain.
  • Your leg or foot is cool, pale, or changes colour.
  • You have tingling, weakness, or numbness in your foot and toes.
  • You cannot move your toes.
  • You have signs of a blood clot, such as:
    • Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
    • Redness and swelling in your leg or groin.
  • You have a nosebleed.
  • Your gums bleed when you brush your teeth.
  • You have blood in your urine.
  • You have trouble urinating.
  • Your stools are black and tar-like or have streaks of blood.
  • You have vaginal bleeding when you are not having your period, or you have heavy period bleeding.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: May 23, 2016