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Pelvic Fracture

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm new here. I had a fall in 1998 where I fractured my pelvis in 3 places. I was kept in the hospital for 8 days. They got me up on crutches after about 3 days and the pain was excruciating. After I went home I spent months on my couch popping pills. I was able to start weight-bearing on the left foot after 6 weeks, then went to a cane, then nothing. The pain has never left.
It got better, I went back to school and took a course. I got an office job and worked at it for 4 years. The pain just got progressively worse, until I finally had to leave. A year later I had a fusion of my Left S.I. Joint. That took another year of recovery and the sciatic pain is better than it was, but overall, not really much better.
I am unable to work. I cannot sit or stand for long periods and don't sleep well at all. I swim 3-4 days a week, do Pilates, and walk. I can no longer walk on uneven ground (trails, etc), but the treadmill's not bad or asphalt. All the doctor's I've seen say the scans are fine, and they don't know why I'm still in pain. I don't know whether to keep looking for help, or just give up and learn to live with this pain. I've tried chiropractors, Otho surgeons, meditation, physiotherapy, accupuncture, neurosurgeons, health drinks, etc. I find a new doctor, get my hopes up, go see them and have them make me feel like I'm wasting their time. It's very discouraging. My family Dr. will send me anywhere I ask, but suggests nothing. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



  • Have they suggested a pain managment clinic? Some people have found them benificial. I don't have any experience with them, so can't give an opinion. Good luck finding the problem, and fixing it.
  • Have you had another lumber MRI and also your pelvis? I agree with Maggie about the Pain Management Dr. I went for a 2nd opinion Pain Management Dr and he found my facet joints were causing alot of pain. Usually arthropy shows up in your MRI though. Are you on any nerve meds? I take lyrica and amitriptyline as well as a muscle relaxer and pain meds. I hope you get some answers about your pain. Have you had a few consult from Neuro or Ortho Surgeons? Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks for your suggestions. I did go to a pain management seminar where they taught us meditation, and that was helpful. I am taking Nortriptyline, am on a 75 mg Fentanyl patch and take Codeine or Tylenol 3 when the pain's really bad. I also use ice, heat and a tens machine.
    I've seen Ortho. surgeons and have had surgery, but haven't seen a neurosurgeon. I'm not sure if there are any pain management Dr's around here.
    I'm a bit confused about the MRI's, etc. Are they only as good as the person who read it originally? When I've asked for records to take to someone new, I always get a written report and not the actual MRI or CT scan, etc. I have my doubts as to the expertise of some of these people, since they first said I had only one break, only to find out 6 months later that there were 3 when I finally saw and Orthopedic surgeon.
  • Hi Leslie,
    Sorry to hear about your predicament but relieved to see it as I too had a pelvic fracture (undiagnosed at first but again there were 3 when they looked properly after trying to make me walk!). My accident was in 2004 and I am still in a lot of pain with the numbness, tingling, SI joint pain and chronic low back pain. It is embarassing to discuss as often the pain is in the groin area aswel as the back and buttocks. I tries the pain management man who was lovely and gave me SI joint injections and facet blocks. One of the SI joint injections worked at first but no luck since. I do get relief from the chiropractor who also does acupuncture. I have tried the E cell machine but no luck there either. Amitryptilline worked but gave me nightmares, although it was nice to sleep for a while.Impossible to sleep at night as can't sleep on side for long. Pain managements good but we want a cure. I'm hoping to have another 20 years here I don't want to be in pain forever. wish i could give you an answer (although I found when I stopped swimming my back felt better and have done better through a weight training and stretch program); but releived to see taht I am normal and not a malingerer as it sometimes feels like that as my husband made a full recovery after the accident from worse injuries although it has to be said he got proper treatment and rehab afterwards. Hope you find something that works for you.
  • i also have a fratured pelvis in two places. But i have had no treatment, it hurts alot in my butt, and my left leg goes numb nad tingles everynight. It has been 1 year since my car accident and the doctors say it would heal on its own, they gave me pain medication, that i am now addicted too.i just want to know would this ever heal,and is riding a stationery bike going to help, as i have gained alot of weight since my accident.
  • I had a car accident in 1988 and was hit head on by a drunk driver going 96mph in a school zone. My right hip was dislocated and shoved into my pelvis/hip socket and broke thye ball/pelvis and hip socket. I spent 31 days in skelatal traction, 6 months in a wheel chair, a month on crutches, and a few months with a cane. I was 16 years old at the time. I was told that everything healed ok, but to this day I still have pain in that area. Sorry to say but for Me its only gotten worse over the years. To compound the problem due to the limited range of motion of my neck, I am now making my hip worse by swiveling my lower back and hips to look around.
    That being said The dr should be able to get you set up with the correct meds to make it more bearable. Probable not to get rid of the pain totally, but to make yoy more comfortable at least.
  • One problem with "healing" is that a severe trauma like each of you experienced almost always leads to the early onset of arthritis...which can be a source of new pain.

    Leslie ~ The kind of pain management the posters are referring to is an interventional pain management doctor or clinic. The doctor can provide any type of treatment pertaining to pain management, can order and supervise physical therapy, and can take over and supervise a patient. On this board, it is commonly done after a spinal surgery. They prescribe pain meds as well.

    Regarding the MRI, yes there are a number of variables involved. First, some equipment is newer than others, and with technology such as this, newer is almost always better. Then it is up to the patient to be as still as humanly possible, for the entire time, so the quality of the imaging is as clear as can be. Then the radiologist steps in to read the MRI. Just as in anything, some are better than others in spotting problems. It depends on how much experience the doctor has reading films of your particular issue, how perceptive s/he is, etc.

    As you can see, there are many points along the way where something can be overlooked or there can be an error.

    The real problem is that once there is a diagnosis, it is difficult to get a new doctor to look at the material with a fresh eye. At least it has been my experience, and I have heard this from several professionals, that it is normal to assume that first diagnosis is correct and the new doctors tend not to discount it and start all over. Often they will rely on the radiology report rather than looking at the films. And, let's face it, some doctors are better at reading films than others.

    When I think back to before I had my fusion, I consulted with eight different spine specialists--orthopedic spinal surgeons, neurosurgeons and one physiatrist-- I am stunned at how little time they spent looking at my films before announcing what my problem was and that I needed a fusion. For me it was a life-changing decision. For each of them it was made in about 5 minutes' time.

    So, Leslie...if your MRI is more than 6 months old, a new specialist should want to order a new one. At the time you get a new MRI, ask the technician for a disk copy of it. Often they will run one off for you while you wait. If not all you have to do is contact Medical Records (if it is done at a hospital or clinic)and request a copy of the films, or the original films. If you get the original films, you will be responsible for them, as they do not have a copy of them. Sometimes they will send them to a doctor for you, or, if you hand carry them, some places ask that you return them. But...if you take the originals, be sure you take them with you from each appointment. Treat them like your most valued possession!! And do not believe them if they say they will mail them back to you. (I learned this the hard way!!)

    If I were you, I would consult with a new orthopedic spinal surgeon. You don't want to continue to live with so much pain until you have explored all your options and have been told nothing can be done...and they will tell you that...and that is the point where some people get referred to interventional pain management.

    Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try to answer your question. Please keep posting with your comments and questions. This is a wonderful group of people who are generous in sharing their knowledge and experiences.

    xx Gwennie
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