The sacrum is also a large, triangular bone and lies at the base of the spine. It connects to that of the pelvis. Fractures are far more common to the coccyx or the lumbar spine vertebrae. Sacral fractures are rare. The sacrum is a very strong and dense bone. To sustain a fracture to the sacrum, there must be a significant amount of trauma to the body.
Sacral stress fractures are small breaks in the sacrum. Sacral fractures are often the result of weakened bones or repetitive stress. So people with osteoporosis are at risk.
Sacral Fracture Anatomy
The sacrum sits at the base of the spine. Below the sacrum is the coccyx, and above the sacrum is the lower back (lumbar spine). To the side of the sacrum is the pelvis. The sacrum connects to the pelvis via a joint each side known as the sacro-iliac joint. This is a large incongruous joint that has limited amounts of movement.
If a fracture is suspected, you will likely have an X-ray to see the break. Sometimes fractures are also picked up on MRI scan. But you should be mindful that fractures to the sacrum are rare. Pelvic fractures are far more common, and the pelvic ring surrounds the sacrum.
How to Treat Sacral Fracture
- Initial Care
Extra support might be needed to help support, protect and keep the back in position during the healing process. Some of the supportive steps might include a brace or a corset. Fractures that are the result of osteoporosis are often treated using partial weight bearing with a cane or other assistive device.
You might be prescribed a course of medication to help reduce pain and inflammation in the injury site. For those who currently have osteoporosis, the doctor will recommend a variety of different medications to increase bone density and help reduce the likelihood of getting another fracture.
- Recovery and Rest
If you have a fracture that resulted from physical stress, you need to take time to rest. You don’t have to rest completely, but you do need to give it time to heal. Apply an ice pack for 5-10 minutes at a time three to five times per day to help relieve swelling and discomfort. Make sure to wrap the ice in a thin towel to prevent an ice burn from occurring.
Gentle massage, mobilisation, TENS and heat can also be useful in relieving pain in the affected area. As you go through the recovery process, you might be given a referral to a physical therapist to undergo rehabilitation using strengthening exercises. Avoid returning to any sports or regular activities until you are given the permission to do so.
- Make changes slowly when it comes to your exercise routine. It will take some time to recover from a sacral fracture, and doing exercises on the floor may be uncomfortable.
- Whenever you are out playing sports, make sure you are using the proper equipment and techniques to prevent injuries from occurring.
- Remove any tripping hazards such as rugs, loose cords or clutter to prevent any undue falls and injuries.
- Good nutrition is so important for bone health.