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Pelvic Fracture Symptoms & Diagnosis


Symptoms of a pelvic fracture include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain upon walking, or inability to walk

You may have other injuries such as other broken bones or damage to your liver, kidneys, or other internal organs—especially if your fracture is caused by a motor vehicle accident. These other injuries can increase your risk of death. They may cause blood loss inside your abdomen (internal bleeding) that may leave too little blood available for pumping to the heart, brain, and other important parts of the body (a condition called “shock”). The pelvic fracture itself causes significant blood loss.


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical examination. He or she will likely refer you to a doctor who specializes in multiple injuries (a trauma specialist) and/or bone injuries (an orthopedic surgeon). ). If you are in a car accident, you will probably be taken to a hospital emergency room which is prepared for such situations. Tests may include the following:

  • Blood and urine tests—to watch for ongoing blood loss, and to see if the bladder is involved.
  • X-rays —of your pelvis to find exactly where and how severe the fracture is.
  • A pregnancy test may be done if you are a woman of childbearing age. The test is done to help doctors protect the baby if you are pregnant, and to find and stop any possible pregnancy-related causes of bleeding such as miscarriage.
  • CT scan (CAT scan) —a procedure that makes detailed computer pictures of the inside of your abdomen to find the pelvic fracture and look for other injuries and internal bleeding. This is also called computed tomography or computerized axial tomography.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) —a procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make detailed pictures of the inside of your abdomen.
  • Abdominal ultrasound —a procedure that uses sound waves to find internal bleeding and other injuries within your abdomen.
  • Urethrography—a test in which dye is injected into your urethra (the passage into your bladder) to check for injuries to this area. A similar test in which dye is injected into your bladder is called cystography .
  • Arteriography —a test in which dye is injected into one or more of your arteries to check for internal bleeding within your pelvis.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2024 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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