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Pelvic Avulsion Fracture (Fractured Pelvis): Overview

What is a pelvic avulsion fracture?

An avulsion fracture occurs when a piece of bone tears away from the site where the muscle attaches to the bone. Muscle attaches to bone by a thick tissue called a tendon. When a muscle contracts quickly or forcefully, it can cause the tendon to pull off a part of the bone.

A pelvic avulsion fracture refers to a broken part of bone that occurs in the pelvis area, which includes the hips, buttocks, and upper thigh.

What causes a pelvic avulsion fracture?

Several muscles in the pelvis area can cause avulsion fractures and pain at different areas along the pelvis, especially where there are open growth plates in children and teenagers. These types of fractures are caused by sudden, forceful contraction of the abdominal muscles, the hip and thigh muscles or the hamstring muscles. Irritation of the growth plate can also occur without an avulsion fracture, which is known as apophysitis.

Who gets it?

Young athletes, especially adolescents at the age of puberty, are at higher risk for pelvic avulsion fractures. Pelvic avulsion fractures are frequently seen in sports that require sprinting, rapid changes in movement or jumping, such as track, tennis, soccer and hockey. Athletes who have tight muscles or who fail to properly warm up and stretch prior to exercise are at greater risk for this type of injury.

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