Introduction

Although pelvic fractures represent a small percentage of all fractures, they are a significant health problem in the United States. It is estimated that 61,000 people in the United States suffer a pelvic injury each year, and that the incidence of severe pelvic injury is increasing (1-3). For multiple reasons, pelvic fractures are associated with significant physical and psychological morbidity. Among these are mechanism of injury, severity of injury, and unique anatomical and physiological aspects of the pelvic region. Pelvic injuries typically result from high-energy, blunt force trauma, with motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) being the major cause of pelvic fractures in younger persons and falls in the elderly population. Pelvic fractures are often accompanied by other injuries. These associated injuries usually occur in areas surrounding the pelvis and the lower extremities such as the genitourinary organs, liver, spleen, lumbosacral plexus, iliac vessels, femur, and tibia. Given the vital functions located in the pelvic region, pelvic injury not only restricts mobility, but may also interfere with highly personal activities such as elimination and sexual relations. These interacting factors make pelvic fracture a condition that is ripe for psychosocial problems, including psychological disorders, genitourinary and sexual dysfunction, and alterations in social identity. While improvements in critical care have decreased mortality and physical morbidity, the psychosocial sequelae of pelvic fractures have not been adequately explored.

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