Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

What to expect from a broken pelvis: Part 3 – the operation

Posted by Matt | January 31, 2024 | Leave a comment

An x-ray of a broken pelvis held together with titanium plates and screws
Like Humpty Dumpty, an operation put Lloyd back together again after breaking his pelvis.

This is Part 3 of Lloyd’s experience of a broken pelvis. The series starts with Part 1 – what to expect from a broken pelvis which covers the accident and immediate aftermath.

The operation involved a 15 inch incision across my abdomen and up the right hip, a 7 inch metal plate and 13 screws to repair the damage and 45 metal staples to close me up.

When I came to in the recovery room the surgeon gave me the news that the operation had been successful, there was no need for a second operation and there had been no accidental damage to other internal bits during the operation.

It was good news.


That first night post operation was terrible.

I had an intravenous morphine drip that gave a prescribed dose when you pressed the trigger. It was on a timer with a set interval before the next shot could be taken. Each shot would wash away the pain, then after what felt like just a few minutes the pricks of pain would start and slowly build.

When it became too intense you press the trigger and… nothing, too soon. Grit teeth, wait and wait and then press again… still nothing. This would go on for a while before eventually, whoosh, a shot of relief.

And so the night passed.

Eventually morning came and the post operative pain had started to ease. Which was a relief because although the morphine took away the pain it made me so very ill. I was not sorry to see the drip go.

I ventured a look down at my abdomen but it was all covered in a huge dressing.

One surprise was that my man equipment (all of it) was the most bright and vivid purple, I guess from blood that had pooled down there, like a bruise. Patti thought it was hilarious and wanted a photo, I covered up quickly before she could get her phone out.

Lloyd, post operation to fix his broken pelvis

Nursing care

The big worry now was infection (internal and external) and blood clots.

The first time they came to redo the dressing, the nurse treated it like an operating theatre. Sterile tray and dressings all carefully laid out, sterile gloves, mask and gown etc.

When the dressing came off it was a bit of a shock to see the size of the incision, the bruising and all the metal staples marching across and up my abdomen.

There was also a rather large swelling on the lower abdomen. This was a blood clot that would hopefully be naturally reabsorbed (it did eventually with the help of the blood thinners) rather than breaking up and causing a blockage somewhere.

The nurse cleaned up and reapplied the dressing.

They went through this process with great care and attention each time they changed the dressing. I never did suffer an infection.

The other great change was that there was not the pain every time I moved as the bones had been fixed. Sure, there was post operative pain, but it was nothing like before the operation. It felt like a corner had been turned and I was a lot more upbeat.

A new goal

The goal now was to get me strong enough to be discharged. This meant being able to walk with crutches and not allow my right foot to touch the floor.

The first time they brought the crutches round I was so weak I was not even able to support my weight.

Everyday day I got a bit stronger and could hop a bit further. Then near the end of the second week I was able to make it 20 yards to the bathroom, use a toilet on my own and be wheeled in for a shower for the first time in 2 weeks (no more bed baths) – I was ready to go home.

The catheter came out, it had been in two weeks and needed a bit of a tug to loosen it up for removal, made the eyes water a bit.

With my supply of blood thinners and syringes and strict instructions, on my 50th birthday I headed home for recovery and rehabilitation.

St George’s Hospital, surgeons, nursing staff, cleaners, catering staff had all been unfailingly brilliant in every respect for my whole time there. It was a truly grim injury and the experience could have been so much worse without such good care.

Filed under Mutterings in January 2024


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

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