Unstable Pelvic Fracture Complications: Treatment & Management

Unstable pelvic fracture is one of the life threatening medical conditions, caused generally by high energy injury or injuries to the pelvic. This particular type of fracture generally arises out of accidents, especially motor vehicle accidents.

UPF is also known as the killing fracture and not only the fracture but even the pelvic injuries in a motor vehicle accident can turn fatal for life. There are high chances of death led by unstable pelvic fracture as it may further involve multiple organ failure, sepsis or hemorrhage.

To treat this serious condition an extensive treatment management system has to be devised.

It is known to be one of the few life threatening orthopedic emergencies as the overall mortality rate in this type of fracture is less.

Complications Of Unstable Pelvic Fracture

The said complications can include the following

  • Hypovolaemic shock: Hypovolaemic shock is an intense medical condition in which after an accident or heavy injury, body loses large amount of blood and fluids, making it difficult to pump enough blood to the body. Hypovolaemic shock can lead to stoppage of organ activities.
  • Blood loss: Unstable pelvic fracture can be accompanied by heavy internal or external bleeding.
  • Infections: Infections like pneumonia, Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), wound infection and sepsis can incur.
  • Coagulopathy: Coagulopathy is a condition in which body’s ability to clot the blood diminishes. Coagulopathy is also known as bleeding disorder which can lead to continuous heavy blood losses.
  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome: ARDS is a medical condition in which the lungs fail. This condition generally rises in people who come across heavy injury or an accident. ARDS implies inability of the lungs to accommodate oxygen in the lungs and in the blood.
  • Atelectasis: Unstable pelvic fracture can also cause atelectasis which implies partial collapse or incomplete expansion of the lungs.
  • Musculoskeletal complications: Musculoskeletal complications imply pain and inflammation of body joint, ligaments, tendons, nerves, muscles also in structures that support limb, neck and back. It leads to inability to perform normal activities.
  • Fat embolism: It is a condition where fat tissues get into the blood stream and block the blood vessel.

Treatment And Management Of Unstable Pelvic Fracture

In the treatment following measures are included:

  • Advance trauma life support (ATLS) must be opted for to control airway management and breathing and to protect the cervical spine.
  • Hypovolaemic shock must be looked in to and treated or it can lead to death with excessive bleeding.
  • It is necessary to figure out the exact sources of the bleeding, interior or exterior.
  • Use of pelvic wrap device.
  • Clinical use and principles of C cap.
  • Temporary use of external fixation to achieve the stabilization of the fracture.
  • Use of pelvic packing to control hemorrhage.
  • Opting for CT scan to know accurate details of pelvic fracture.

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