Tag Archive for: Pelvic Pain

Pelvic Fracture

Even though your pelvis is a strong and stable bone structure, it can break. The pelvis protects many important nerves, blood vessels, and organs that can also be damaged and cause serious complications, including chronic pain, impaired mobility, sexual dysfunction, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a type of blood clot. Unstable pelvic fractures can be severe and need immediate medical attention from the most skilled, experienced orthopedic specialists like those at the Colorado Center of Orthopedic Excellence in Colorado Springs, Colorado. You can trust they’ll know exactly what to do.


Pelvic fractures, also known as insufficiency fractures, are osteoporotic fractures of the pelvis and are often overlooked or misdiagnosed. Anyone can experience a pelvic fracture at any age. Mild fractures are more common in older people because they are more likely to have bone-weakening disorders such as osteoporosis. Severe pelvic fractures are most common in people aged 15 to 28 years. Under the age of 35, men are more likely to experience a pelvic fracture, while over the age of 35, women are more likely to experience a pelvic fracture. Around 94% of pelvic fractures in people over 60 are due to osteoporosis, which weakens the bones and increases the risk of fractures.


The pelvis is a butterfly-shaped-shaped structure at the base of the spine. The pelvic bones include the sacrum (the large triangular-shaped bone at the base of the spine, the coccyx (tailbone), and the hip bones, which include the ilium, ischium, and pubis which are separate in childhood but fuse as one gets older. These three bones meet to form the acetabulum—the hollow cup that serves as the socket for the ball-and-socket hip joint. Bands of strong connective tissues called ligaments join the pelvis to the sacrum, creating a bowl-like cavity below the rib cage. Major nerves, blood vessels, and portions of the bowel, bladder, and reproductive organs all pass through the pelvic ring. The pelvis protects these important structures from injury and also serves as an anchor for the muscles of the hip, thigh, and abdomen.


There are multiple ways to classify pelvic fractures. A surgeon will use a classification system to identify the patterns of the fractures based on the direction in which it was broken and the amount of force that caused the injury. These classifications include:

  • Anterior to posterior compression injury: a break going from front to back
  • Lateral compression injury: a break going from one side of the body to another
  • Vertical shear injury: a vertical break that pushes one part of the bone up toward the head

In addition to being described by the specific fracture pattern, pelvic fractures are often described as “stable” or “unstable” based on how much damage has occurred to the structural integrity of the pelvic ring. In a stable fracture, the pelvis has one break point in the pelvic ring, limited bleeding, and the bones are staying in place. In unstable fractures, there are two or more breaks in the pelvic ring with moderate to severe bleeding. Both stable and unstable fractures can also be divided into closed fractures, in which the skin is not broken, and open fractures, where the bone fragments stick out through the skin.

Read more about Pelvic Fractures on our new Colorado Springs Orthopedic News Site – Colorado Springs Orthopedic News. Schedule an appointment with a hip specialist today.

Orthopedic Tests for Hip and Pelvic Problems

Pain of the hip and pelvic area is one of the most frequent types of joint pain seen by orthopedic doctors. Pain in this area can have many causes, and it can be disabling for athletes as well as less active people.

A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that about 7 percent of Americans experience some degree of hip pain or stiffness.

How Is My Hip Pain Diagnosed?

Following are some of the tests that are regularly used by orthopedists to determine the specific condition causing pain in the hip and pelvic area:

Initial Exam and Tests 

Your doctor will begin by asking about your symptoms, the time they started, and any possible accidents or diseases you might have experienced. Next, your doctor will test your posture and gait, with you in both standing and seated positions. Measurements of your leg bones may also be taken by the doctor. 

Imaging Tests 

Imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI, may be the next step your doctor might suggest to determine the cause of your pain. A more specific test called an MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) uses a contrast dye to look at your hip joints in high detail.

Lab Tests

Orthopedists also use laboratory tests to help determine issues that cause pain and stiffness. A blood test can show, for example, the presence of an antibody that may cause a type of arthritis.

Blood tests can also help find Lyme disease and lupus, both of which may affect your hips. In addition, your doctor may draw a small amount of fluid from your hip joints to confirm a diagnosis of gout or a bacterial infection.

Manual Tests 

Special manual tests or maneuvers are also part of the process to determine the cause of your hip or pelvic pain. Over the past several decades, orthopedists have developed more than a dozen of these hands-on tests.

During these mechanical tests, your doctor will ask you to sit, stand, or lie down with your body in different positions, and to make a series of movements. Your doctor will observe your performance during these tests to help in the diagnosis. 

These hands-on procedures include the following: 

·      Pelvic Rocking Test – This is used to check joint stability in the hip. A limited range of motion or pain during this test may suggest an injury or a possible infection.

·      Trendelenburg Sign – This test looks for weakness in the abductor muscles of the hips, such as the gluteus. The abductor muscles help draw your legs away from your body in activities such as walking or running.

·      Telescoping Test – This test looks for possible hip dislocation, where the head of your upper leg bone (femur) moves out of the socket where it normally sits.

Hip Surgeons in Colorado Springs

If you are experiencing hip and pelvic pain or stiffness, or other issues with your joints or muscles, we are here to help. Our team of physicians at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence are experts in sports medicine and joint injuries, and we can evaluate, implement, and monitor the most effective treatments.

For outstanding orthopedic treatment, schedule a consultation by calling our Colorado Springs office today at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment here. We look forward to helping you live a more pain-free lifestyle so you can get back in the game.