An X-Ray of Horrific Injuries

An X-Ray of Horrific Injuries

Here is an x-ray of horrific injuries sustained to the front seat passenger who had their feet on the dashboard at the time of a collision!

This shows why you should not put your feet on car dashboards!

If you see your passenger doing it stop driving and show them this.

The patient luckily survived but the injuries were life-changing, including pelvic and femur fracture, along with open dislocation of the right hip. Remember this the next time you get in a car!

Pelvic injuries are usually caused by significant trauma, such as road traffic collisions, falls from height or a crush injury.  Due to the location of the pelvis, injuries to other structures, such as major blood vessels, the bladder and/or the bowel may occur. This means that the management and long term recovery from pelvic injuries can be complicated.

The bony pelvis is like a ring, with three main joints (a symphysis pubis at the front and two sacroiliac joints at the back) which are held together by strong ligaments. If the ring is ‘disrupted’ due to trauma, the integrity of the pelvis may be altered. This may require an operation, or several operations to bring the pelvis back to its normal ‘pre injury’ state. There are differing types of pelvic injuries, and the treatment required will depend on the extent of the injury and which other structures are injured.

The first line treatment for pelvic injuries is to assess for and treat internal bleeding. The patient may require a procedure called an angiogram to detect exactly where the bleeding vessel is, and then ‘embolisation’ to control the bleeding. Sometimes if the patient has lost a lot of blood they will need to go directly to the operating theatre to have the pelvis ‘packed’ to prevent any further blood loss. This is a temporary procedure which is usually followed by a second operation in the days following the injury. Once the bleeding has been controlled and the patient is stabilised, the bony injuries can then be fixed.

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