Broken Hip Joint

Fractures of the pelvis and acetabulum are serious injuries that can lead to multiple long-term health challenges if not treated properly.

Your pelvis consists of a sturdy ring structure located at the base of your spine. It includes a large, triangular-shaped bone called the sacrum, your tailbone and hip bones. Each hip bone contains three bones that join together to form your acetabulum and create a socket for your hip joint.

There are two types of pelvis fracture:

  • A stable fracture consists of one break in your pelvic ring, in which the ends of your broken bones line up correctly
  • An unstable fracture consists of two or more breaks in your pelvic ring, in which the ends of your broken bones do not line up correctly

Fractures of the pelvis and acetabulum often result from a traumatic event like a car accident or a fall from significant height. They may also be caused by weak or insufficient bone mass due to osteoporosis or advanced age.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

A fractured pelvis or acetabulum typically causes intense hip pain that worsens with movement. Other symptoms may include:

  • Leg pain
  • Groin pain
  • Weakness, numbness or a tingling sensation in your leg

To diagnose a pelvis or acetabulum fracture, the orthopaedic specialists at Penn State Health take a full medical history and perform a detailed physical exam to assess your level of damage.

Additional testing may include:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan

Stable fractures of the pelvis and acetabulum are most likely to heal properly with no lasting effects. Unstable fractures are often caused by traumatic events, like a car accident, and may require extensive healing time followed by rehabilitation and therapy. Healing may take a year or longer before strength and function are restored.

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Innovative Care for Complex Challenges

Penn State Health offers innovative, leading-edge care for complex conditions like fractures of the pelvis and acetabulum. Our team of experts uses a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to offer a wide range of care that includes orthopaedics, chronic pain management and therapy services to improve your body’s function and movement.

We are a regional resource for complex orthopedic trauma reconstruction cases.

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