Auto Accidents Involving Pelvis Injuries
Auto Accidents Involving Pelvis Injuries
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. Accidents resulting in a fractured pelvis can be extremely painful. The pelvis segment of the human skeleton consists of several attached bones in the area between the base of the spine and the beginning of the legs. The two skeletal structures commonly referred to as the “hip bones” actually consist of three distinct but fused bones on either side of the pubic area – the ilium, ischium, and pubis – and each are a part of the pelvis.
Pelvic Skeleton Protects Human Body
The pelvic skeleton protects a number of crucial elements of the human body, including important digestive and reproductive organs, as well as significant blood vessels and nerves. A break to this part of the skeleton, whether due to an auto accident, serious fall, or other cause, can therefore pose grave risks.
Medical professionals categorize fractured pelvis injuries into several categories, according to their level of severity. The least severe fracture of the pelvis generally will cause some pain or discomfort, but will not impede normal bodily function in any way nor require medical treatment. The most severe cases can result in the death of the victim.
The first and least troublesome form of pelvis fracture is the “avulsion fracture”, which is not generated by a collision or other incident but simply by a sudden and atypically strong muscle contraction. These fractures are especially common among youth and athletes. If the muscles in the area of the pelvis are used more strenuously or differently than they have been in the past, as the result, for example, of extended fitness training or intensive sports, a small fracture to the pelvis may occur. Avulsion fractures never threaten the skeletal integrity of the pelvic skeleton, generally go unnoticed, and do not require action (except, perhaps, for temporary pain relief medication).
The next least severe form of pelvis fracture is referred to as a “stable fracture” because it does not jeopardize the structural soundness of the pelvic skeletal structure. Fractures to the pelvis at this low level of severity can sometimes result even from minor falls and are common among the elderly and others with brittle or weak bones, due to osteoporosis or a similar condition. Such cases typically involve only one of the bones in the pelvic skeleton and frequently go undetected for extended periods. They rarely require medical treatment, though they may temporarily increase the soreness, pain, or discomfort resulting from an incident. It is unlikely for any blood loss to result from such injuries.
If the fracture occurs at more than one point on the pelvis, and/or causes rotational instability (meaning the bone structure can move unnaturally forward or backward around the axis of the spine), the risks are much more pressing. Blood vessels, nerves, and even vital organs may suffer damage in these cases, and movement of the hips and legs may be restricted. Bruises and tenderness will likely afflict the affected area, and there may be bleeding through the rectum, urethra, or vagina. Immediate evaluation and hospital treatment is demanded if any of these symptoms appear as the result of an injury to the pelvis.
Rotationally and Vertically Unstable
Finally, if the trauma experienced involves enough energy to completely displace or deform the pelvic skeleton at two or more points, the pelvis will become both rotationally and vertically unstable. This means that in addition to the type of around-the-spine movement mentioned above, the pelvis will also be subject to instability with respect to movement towards the front of the body and towards the back. Generally, the damage to the surrounding biological structures in such instances is severe enough that blood loss is extreme within minutes of the accident. The rate of mortality is very high in pelvic fractures which cause instability along both axes.
Sacramento Personal Injury and Auto Accident Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. If you or your loved one has been seriously hurt in an auto accident, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 for free and friendly advice. Or, call me free of toll at (800) 404-5400.
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