Having a broken pelvis is not the same as having a broken leg.
A fractured pelvis is extremely painful, but it will get better with time if you let the bones heal on their own.
Since healing can take months or more, there are some things you can do to on how to sleep with a fractured pelvis less difficult.
What is a Fractured Pelvis?
A fractured pelvis can be caused by a high-impact injury, such as a car accident or motor vehicle crash. However, sometimes there are no clear external signs that someone has a fractured pelvis. The most common symptom is pain in the hip area.
The pelvic bone comprises three sections: two bones on top (the ilium) and one underneath (the pubis). A fracture occurs when any of these sections break. If the fracture only involves one section, it’s called a single-site fracture; if it involves more than one section, it’s called multiple-site fractures.
Fractures may also involve incomplete breaks where the broken pieces overlap but are not entirely separate. These are considered stable fractures because they do not move, but the broken ends may need to be realigned (reduced). If a fracture is complete and separates from each other (displaced), it needs to be reduced and stabilized with wires or plates.
Risk factors for pelvic fractures
It is expected that those who have experienced a fractured pelvis also experience blood loss and shock because of damage to large arteries in the area. This can lead to death if not treated quickly.
Symptoms of a fractured pelvis can include pain in the hip area, bruising around the hip area, numbness or weakness of one leg or both legs, problems urinating or controlling bowel movements. Those who suspect they have a fractured pelvis should seek medical advice immediately.
The mode of treatment for a fractured pelvis is usually with hospital admission. Depending on the fracture type, surgery may be needed to fix it and align it properly with plates or screws; however, if the bones are stable enough, they can heal by themselves with support from a cast or brace.
In cases where there is an open wound, people will need to have their wounds cleaned and allowed time to heal before having surgery done.
Why Do Fractures Occur in the First Place?
The most common cause for a pelvic fracture is high-impact trauma such as that caused by car accidents or falls from heights, but severe blows can also cause them to the area during contact sports or a low-level fall that affects only one leg causing unequal weight distribution on either side of your body.
This can lead to a shift in weight distribution, requiring you to compensate for the difference causing a fracture in either or both of your pelvic bones.
In some cases, pelvic fractures may not be caused by injury. They can be attributed to osteoporosis (a weakening of the bone), cancer, and severe arthritis, making your bones more susceptible to fracturing with very little applied force.
How to Sleep with a Fractured Pelvis?
A pelvic fracture is typically caused by high-speed accidents, falls from heights, car accidents, and motorcycle crashes. Each year thousands of people suffer pelvic fractures due to these types of injuries.
The sacroiliac joint on the side of the pelvis, which takes most of your body weight while standing, becomes unstable when it’s fractured, so even walking can be difficult and very uncomfortable.
Sleeping is obviously essential, but it becomes more of a challenge with the pain involved in a fractured pelvis than usual.
Here are some tips on how to sleep with a fractured pelvis:
- Don’t lay flat on your back – Laying flat places too much weight and strain on the bones in your pelvic area, making the fracture site even more painful; instead, place pillows under your knees or between your legs to slightly raise hips while laying on your side.
- Use a body pillow to support you– Grabbing your pillow and placing it behind you will align your spine correctly for comfort while lying down; having a pillow between your knees will help take the pressure off your hips.
- Use a soft mattress– A super firm mattress will increase the amount of pain you have in your pelvic area, making sleeping even more difficult, so use a softer bed to decrease pain while lying down.
- Don’t overdo it– You don’t have to do everything perfectly straight away, or you’ll just be frustrating yourself. It’s okay to stay on your back for most of the day and only alternate positions when necessary; make sure to get up and walk around now and then (if possible).
A fractured pelvis can heal without surgery, but it takes time; you need patience and the right sleeping conditions to make it less painful.
Things to Keep in Mind When You Have a Fractured Pelvis
Please keep it in a sling. If you’re walking around on a broken pelvis, you’re going to find that everything hurts and moving is difficult. Keeping the damaged area immobilized will reduce pain and give your body time to heal. You can do this by keeping the injured leg in a sling or using crutches to keep weight off the pelvis.
Be sure not to rush back into normal life after breaking your hip. The more active you are, the harder it will be for your bones and tissues to mend and grow strong again. One common symptom of a fracture in the pelvic region is extreme swelling, so avoid wearing tight clothing or underwear during recovery.
The main goal with pelvis injuries is to reduce pain and swelling. When your pelvic area hurts, it’s difficult to do anything. Make sure you’re not causing yourself additional discomfort by wearing uncomfortable clothing or moving incorrectly.
Extreme temperature changes probably will not affect the recovery of a broken pelvis. However, if you can avoid extreme cold or heat that might cause further injury or discomfort, that would be best. You should keep the body covered with layers as needed for personal comfort during physical activities.
A broken pelvis does not have to be a life-altering incident as long as you follow proper procedures after getting medical treatment from a qualified physician. A fractured pelvis means there has been at least some damage done to bone tissue, but usually, it’s not too severe.
If you can remain calm, follow doctor’s orders and use proper methods to treat the area at home, then you should be able to return to your everyday life sooner than later with minimal problems.
I hope this information is helpful, and I wish you all a speedy recovery!