Following surgery, managing the patient's pain and managing any complications that arise due to the injury are primary concerns.
Initially, pain medication will be given by injection. However, many patients are able to use a pump that controls the amount of pain medication given. This is known as Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) and offers patients the benefits of managing his or her pain. Since there is a maximum dose that can be delivered at any given time, there is no danger that the patient will receive too much medication.
Other medications that may be given include anticoagulants to thin the blood and avoid the development of blood clots, and Indocin, which prevents bone formation in areas around the muscles.
Patients are encouraged to get up and out of bed as soon as possible, since doing so helps to avoid some of the complications associated with these injuries. A regimen of physical therapy is followed to maintain muscle strength and range of motion during recovery.
After surgery to repair a pelvic fracture or fracture of the acetabulum, many patients continue to feel the effects of damage to nerves that might have occurred during the traumatic event or the surgery. Important branches of the lumbar and sacral nerves may be either stretched or torn, especially in the case of unstable pelvic fractures. Injuries to the nerves result in decreased feeling in a limb and/or difficulty or inability in moving part of the limb. It is difficult to predict whether these nerves will fully recover. However, the majority of patients do regain some sensation and function of the limb within six to eighteen months after their injury.