How long is the recovery time for a fractured pelvis?

Anjan R. Shah, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Recovery from a fractured pelvis comes in two stages. Watch as orthopedic surgeon Anjan Shah, MD, of Brandon Regional Hospital, explains the two phases of recovery and what each entails.

Bone healing typically occurs within 6 to 16 weeks; however, the strength of the bone and the ability of the bone to sustain a person’s body weight under heavy activity may take up to a year. The key to figuring out where in the time range it will take you to recover from a fractured pelvis is to know how significant the fracture is to begin with. A small stress fracture, crack in the bone, would allow you to continue with most low-level activities (e.g., cooking, house cleaning, walking) and would be in the lower end of the recovery time. A fracture completely through the bone and where the bone is not lined up correctly will take a lot longer to heal and most likely be at the far end of the recovery period. An injury seen in athletics could be an avulsion fracture, where a piece of the bone is “peeled” or partially torn away from the pelvis. This is most commonly found where a muscle attaches to the pelvis. Instead of the muscle tearing, a small piece of bone is pulled away from the pelvis. Depending on how much bone is involved, it may take approximately 6 weeks before you are ready to begin increasing your activity. This type of injury may also involve the use of crutches for 1-2 weeks as well. Other considerations that need to be addressed as well are the person’s age, health, and activity level. As we grow older the longer it takes to heal, just as the healthier we are (e.g., proper nutrition, no illnesses, do not smoke) the quicker we will heal. Finally, how active a lifestyle you lead and whether you follow the healthcare providers directions will dictate how quickly you can heal. If you do not allow for the proper amount of rest and exercise, you may actually slow down the healing process.

(This answer provided for NATA by Robert Stow, PhD, ATC, CSCS.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.