A pelvic fracture is a break or near-break of one of the pelvic bones. Pelvic fractures can occur as a result of high-speed accidents or great falls. They occur more easily in people with brittle bones, such as the elderly. An elderly person may fracture a pelvic bone as a result of a mild fall around the home. Treatment of pelvic fractures varies depending on the severity of the fracture, but may include surgery, medication, bed rest and physiotherapy. Patients with pelvic fractures may have difficulty walking when they return home; you can take a few steps to help them.
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Things you need
Obtain permission from the patient's doctor before attempting to walk with a person who has just sustained a pelvic fracture.
Walk alongside the person as he uses a walker to guide his steps. Be there to support him in case he loses his balance.
Stand in front of the person and offer one or both arms to guide him as he tries to walk.
Allow the person to support himself by putting his weight on you as he needs to. Never try to lift the person or adjust his weight yourself because this can throw off his balance and lead to further injury.
Keep a wheelchair or comfortable chair in close proximity at all times while helping the person to walk. He may tire easily and need to sit down at a moment's notice.
Help the patient to make goals as he begins to walk again. Provide support and encouragement as he tries to meet his goals.
Tips and warnings
- If you aren't confident that you can support the person's weight by yourself, always work with someone else to help a person with a pelvic fracture to walk.
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