Wednesday, June 19, 2013
How to treat pelvic hairline fractures
The other day my wife fell down while doing ice skating on her back. The very next day we went to a doctor and he took an x-ray and said that she has a hairline fracture. He advised her 2-3 days rest at home and thereafter she can resume her work in the office. He has prescribed some pain killers like Tyrenol and a topical gel based application, etc.
My question is what precautions should she take while in office and at home and is it advisable to wear some kind of a support? Also how long would it take to heal?
If she sustained a hairline fracture in just one location of her pelvis, this should be a "stable" fracture - meaning there would be no need for any form of external support or bracing. Depending on the location of her fracture, weight-bearing as tolerated is usually OK and advisable, although returning to ice skating or a similar "risky" activity while still healing - which usually takes several weeks - would not be advisable. Depending on her age and any medical conditions she may have, her bone density may need to be checked to determine if she has an elevated risk for sustaining future fractures.
The most appropriate recommendations specific to your wife's needs are best provided by her physician, possibly in consultation with an orthopedic surgeon if necessary.
Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University