Car accidents happen every day, and despite our best efforts to follow the law and drive cautiously, sometimes a crash is unavoidable due to someone else’s negligence. When this happens, it is likely that you will suffer from some injuries, and the ones that we are going to discuss today are injuries to your hips and your pelvis.
While typically not as severe as injuries to your head or your spine, these injuries can cause a great amount of pain, require extensive medical treatment, interfere with your job and income, and can even leave you debilitated or lead to complications that affect you the rest of your life. This is why it is important that you call experienced Oklahoma City car accident attorneys immediately so that all these inconveniences, pain, and suffering can be handled in the best possible way.
What are common hip and pelvic injuries from accidents?
The hips and pelvis are critical parts of the body as they are load-bearing areas, and when they are injured, much of the rest of the body is affected. These joints and bones are critical for staying active, so whether you’re an athlete, a hiker, someone who likes to go for walks, or someone who works a job that requires a lot of moving around; hip and pelvic injuries can leave you disabled and unable to move as you once did. Not only can they immobilize you, but they tend to be very painful injuries. Injuries in these areas can lead to the pain spreading throughout your thighs, groin, and buttocks; and the pain can last long after you have suffered the accident.
Some of the most common hip and pelvic injuries suffered from car accidents include:
- Pelvic fracture. According to Impact Medical Group, “the pelvis is made up of a major ring and two smaller rings. The smaller rings protect and support your internal organs such as your intestines and bladder.” Pelvic fractures can happen to the major ring or the minor ring. When the major ring is fractured, it’s considered a severe injury, while fractures to the smaller ring tend to be considered moderate or mild. The pelvis can suffer multiple fractures in multiple locations based on the type and severity of the accident. Symptoms of a fractured pelvis include pain in the pelvic region that may radiate up into the stomach, restricted mobility or the inability to move at all, numbness in the pelvic region, bloody stool or urine, or discomfort when standing. While a minor pelvic fracture may only need bed rest for eight to 12 weeks and anti-inflammatory medication, more severe fractures are likely to need surgery with pins, screws, and plates possibly needing to be inserted.
- Lateral compression injury. According to the website AfterTrauma, this type of pelvic fracture “may cause displaced fractures of the pubic bone and there is a risk of broken bone causing damage to the underlying organs such as the bladder.”
- Vertical shear injury. AfterTrauma goes on to describe this type of pelvic fracture: “The high energy shearing force that causes this kind of injury causes major disruption to the pelvic ring, the SI joints, ligaments and blood vessels… This may lead to major pelvic injury instability and severe internal bleeding.”
- Hip fracture. Most hip fractures happen to the femoral neck and the intertrochanteric region. The femoral neck is the top of the femur where it meets the hip (the ball and socket joint). The intertrochanteric region is slightly lower down on the femur where the bone juts outwards from the hip. Hip fractures can be fatal and almost always need surgery. Symptoms include inability to walk or stand up, pain in the hips or groin, bruising around the hip area, awkward positioning of the leg on the side of the hip that was injured. Treatment for a fractured hip includes surgeries such as internal repair using screws, partial hip replacement, and total hip replacement.
- Bursitis. The bursae are small fluid filled sacs that cushion the bones and muscles at joints. Bursitis is when these sacs become inflamed. Symptoms include feelings stiff and achy, pain when pressure is applied, or the area appears red and swollen. While bursitis tends to go away on its own with increased rest, if the pain becomes debilitating, greatly restricts your movement, or you develop a fever, you should see a medical professional. Severe cases of bursitis may require injections or even surgery.
- Hip labral tear. A hip labral tear occurs when the ring of cartilage that surrounds the socket of your hip bone is torn. Sometimes there are no symptoms, but some may feel stiffness, pain, or a locking or clicking sensation in the area. This sort of injury usually heals on its own, but if the pain becomes too much, you can receive anesthesia injections to the area.
- Acetabular f While these sorts of fractures are not common, they can range from minor to severe in severity. Acetabular fractures are when the socket part of the ball-and-socket joint is broken. These occur usually during high force accidents such as car accidents. This sort of injury often presents with pain in the area. If the fracture is stable enough, rest, walking aids, and pain medication may be all that’s needed for treatment; however, in most cases, surgery might be necessary.
It should be noted that hips and pelvic region house certain organs such as the bowels, bladder, uterus or prostate. Often, injury to the bones of this area can lead to injuries of the organs within. These injuries can be severely painful, and leave you unable to work and bring in an income for quite some time. This is why it is critical that you contact the Oklahoma City injury attorneys at Cunningham & Mears. We make sure that you come first, and that the pain and suffering (physical, financial, and emotional) caused by a neglectful driver will be appropriately compensated for.
We don’t get to decide where or when we get into an accident. They occur when we least expect them, and the injuries we suffer from them can affect us our entire lives, leaving us with chronic pain or difficulties with moving around. With hip and pelvic injuries, this can often be the case, as that area of the body is a core point of support, connecting the lower and top halves and allowing us to move around freely. When these are injured, we can become immobilized with pain for weeks, months, or even the rest of our lives. In extreme cases, they can even be fatal.
Don’t let a neglectful driver get away with leaving you in agony and suffering. Let the experienced and compassionate car accident attorneys at Cunningham & Mears help you. To schedule a consultation, reach out to us at (405) 232-1212, or use our contact page. We proudly serve the citizens of Oklahoma City.
Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More