Harrison Ford Recuperating From Pelvic Fracture After Plane Crash

Harrison Ford is an accomplished pilot. He’s flown helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft as well as the Millennium Falcon.

On March 5, 2015, Ford was flying a vintage WWII airplane, believed to be a Ryan PT-22 Recruit, when he was forced to make an emergency landing on the Penmar Golf Course in Venice, California. He did not lose consciousness, but did sustain some serious injuries. Ford suffered a laceration to his head and broke an ankle and his pelvis in the crash landing.

Ford’s publicist, Ina Treciokas, described him as being “banged up,” that his injuries were not “life-threatening” and that he was expected to make a “full recovery.”

The seventy-two year old Ford underwent surgery to repair the ankle and pelvis. His wife, Ally McBeal actress Calista Flockhart, has been seen coming in and out of the hospital to visit him.

His son Ben tweeted:

“At the hospital. Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.”

Just last June, Ford broke his leg while filming Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens. Filming had to be delayed as he underwent surgery to repair the fracture. Ford had finished filming his scenes in the film when the present accident occurred and is not expected to delay the release of the film, scheduled for December 2015.

10 things you should know about the pelvis and pelvic fractures

Pelvis1. The pelvic skeleton is formed by the sacrum and the coccyx in the back and by a pair of hip bones to the sides and front. Each hip bone consists of 3 sections, ilium, ischium, and pubis.

2. During childhood, these sections are separate bones, joined by cartilage. During puberty, they fuse together to form a single bone.

3. Digestive and reproductive organs sit in the pelvic “bowl,” as well as many important nerves and blood vessels which supply the lower extremities.

4. The elderly, who frequently have osteoporosis (weakening of the bones) are at higher risk of pelvic fracture. A fracture the pelvis can occur during a fall from standing, such as when getting out of the bathtub or going down stairs.

5. High impact injuries, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls or crush injuries are the major causes of pelvic fractures.

6. Because the important structures which are in or pass through the pelvis, a pelvic fracture can be associated with substantial bleeding, nerve injury, and internal organ damage. These injuries may be of greater significance when the patient first arrives at the hospital.

7. Symptoms of a broken pelvis include pain, swelling and bruising. The patient may want to hold the hip or knee bent in a specific position to avoid aggravating the injury.

8. Many fractures which appear stable (i.e. the bones are not likely to move around) will typically heal without surgery. Crutches or a walker will be necessary, and the patient will not be able to put all of his or her weight on one or both legs for up to three months, or until the bones are healed.

external fixator9.  In the case of a more severe injury, doctors may perform surgery to install a device called an external fixator. The fixator is essentially some long screws that are inserted through the pelvic bones and attached to a frame outside the body.

10. Unstable fractures may also require the surgical insertion of plates or screws.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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