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Pelvis Problems

What is the pelvis?

The pelvis is a basin-shaped structure that supports the spinal column and protects the abdominal organs. It contains the following:

Anatomy of the female pelvis
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Anatomy of the male pelvis
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  • Sacrum. A spade-shaped bone that is formed by the fusion of five originally separate sacral vertebrae.

  • Coccyx (also called the tail bone). Formed by the fusion of four originally separated coccygeal bones.

  • Three hip bones. These include the following:

    • Ilium. The broad, flaring portion of the hip bone (the crest of the pelvis).

    • Pubis. The lower, posterior part of the hip bone.

    • Ischium. One of the bones that helps form the hip.

Common pelvis problems

Two of the more common pelvic problems include the following:

  • Pelvic fractures. A pelvic fracture requires considerable force. Although the fracture itself can heal on its own, pelvic fractures usually are accompanied by damage to abdominal organs that require surgery.

    Most pelvic fractures are caused by direct blows or by a blow through the thighbone (femur). Pelvic fractures are often the result of motor vehicle accidents, especially motorcycle accidents.

  • Osteitis pubis. Osteitis pubis is an inflammation of the pubic symphysis, the slightly moveable joint of the front of the pelvis. Characterized by pain in the groin and tenderness over the front of the pelvis, this condition often is caused by repeated pelvis stress, such as kicking the ball in soccer. Rest usually heals the condition.