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Hip and Pelvic Injuries -- A Common Result of Car Wrecks

The hips and pelvis are the strongest bones of the body, especially the bones of the iliac crest and sacrum. Typically, a fracture of the hip is sustained only with severe blunt force trauma, such as the type that might occur in a serious car wreck. The weakest bones of the hip and pelvis are the pubic ramus and the acetabulum.  Some common hip and pelvic injuries from a car wreck can include:  

•    Pubic bone fractures: These are the most common fractures, but they heal well with rest and rarely need surgical correction.  

•    Acetabular fractures: The head of the femur (the longest bone in the body) fits into the cup-shaped structure called the acetabulum.  Acetabular fractures do not heal easily, frequently require surgery, and can cause aseptic necrosis of the femoral head.  When this occurs, the blood supply to the top bone in the leg is cut off and the hip joint permanently degrades.  Victims with hip injuries need to be monitored closely to rule out this disabling complication.  CT angiography can verify that the blood supply is intact.

•    Femoral head or neck fracture:  This is the most common hip fracture and it occurs at the top of the upper leg bone, or femur. This fracture is quite dangerous, almost always requires surgery, frequently requires a hip replacement, and requires a long recovery period.  Normally, individuals who suffer these fractures are never able to return to full pre-injury activities.

•    Pubic symphysitis: Other injuries from pelvic trauma do not result in fractures but can be disabling nonetheless. The joint between the pubic rami (the pubic symphysis on the front of the pelvis) can become chronically inflamed causing persistent pain.

•    Sacroiliitis:  Non-moveable joints, such as the sacroiliac joint (on the back of the pelvis), can become chronically inflamed and be painful and disabling.  These injuries are common in auto and truck wrecks, cannot be surgically corrected and may cause chronic debilitating pain.

If you have suffered a hip or pelvic injury as a result of a car wreck, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney.