The pelvis is a butterfly-shaped group of bones at the base of the spine. The pelvis consists of the pubis, ilium and ischium bones (among others) held together by tough ligaments to form a girdle of bones. With a hole in its center, the pelvis forms one major ring and two smaller rings of bone that support and protect the bladder, intestines and rectum.
Fractures of the pelvis are uncommon and range widely from mild (if the minor ring is broken) to severe (if the major ring is broken). Pelvic rings often break in more than one place. A mild fracture (such as may happen from the impact of jogging) may heal in several weeks without surgery. However, a serious pelvic fracture can be life threatening and may involve damage to the organs the pelvis protects. This type of fracture often needs emergency medical care and lengthy physical therapy and rehabilitation.