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Fixing a Fractured Pelvis: July 23, 2012

It can happen to anyone, anytime - a traumatic car crash. One local police officer knows that first hand. His pelvis was shattered earlier this year, and his road to recovery is almost complete thanks to orthopedic trauma surgery.

Law enforcement officer Oscar Basora was working a call when his car veered off the road and into a tree.

“When that happened it sent the weight of my body forward and my right knee struck the dashboard. And apparently in doing so it put a lot of pressure on the femur bone and on the pelvis causing my pelvis to fracture,” says Basora.

He was rushed to the trauma center at Lee Memorial Hospital. His hip was dislocated; his socket was shattered. Trauma doctors stabilized Basora, but his broken bones needed help.

“Our trauma surgeons had put the hip back in place but still had the broken part of the hip socket to deal with.  And that’s where I became involved,” says Dr. Patrick Leach, an orthopedic trauma surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

Orthopedic trauma surgeons handle complex fractures, common in wrecks and accidents.

“Anything that gets a human being moving faster than we’re designed to be moving – cars, motorcycles, ATVs, dirt bikes.  And particularly in Florida where we do have a large segment of the population that’s older, they get fractures a little more easily.  Those are more difficult to treat because you don’t have as good of a bone stock to work with,” says Dr. Leach.

The pelvis can be a focal point for trauma injuries and a trouble spot for surgeons. To get to the fracture requires navigating through muscle, then manipulating bone fragments.  An x-ray shows Basora’s pelvis today.

“The back rim of the hip socket, which would be back here, and we did an operation where we exposed that, put it all back in place, and supported it with metal plates and screws,” says Dr. Leach.

Two screws hold the bone together.

“But if we just left those, the bone would crack around it so then we support the bone by laying this plate over the top.  And then screws go to normal bone above and below the fracture to hold that in place,” says Dr. Leach.

Now a man of stainless steel, Basora is back on the force and back on the road.

“Three and a half months for this type of injury, I think that’s rather quick. I’m grateful that I healed quickly,” says Basora.