When the bone is fractured into many small pieces, it is sometimes necessary to use bone from another area of your body to fix and support the fracture. This is called a "bone graft." The most common area to get the bone needed for a graft is on the outside of your pelvis, or hipbone.
If a piece of bone is taken from your hipbone, a separate incision will need to be made. With the most common method, the hipbone is exposed, and a portion at the edge of the pelvis is hinged open. This section of the bone is still attached to the pelvis, along the edge, by soft tissue on the outside of the bone. A portion of the softer bone inside the pelvis is removed and used for the graft around the fracture. The specific type, and amount, of bone removed will depend on the type of fracture you have. Once the graft has been taken, this hinged section of the pelvis is returned to its original position, and the soft tissues around the bone are sutured to hold it in place while it heals.
Your skin is then closed with stitches or skin staples. A plastic drain that collects excess fluid may be placed near the hip incision, which empties into a plastic container. The drain is usually removed after 1 to 2 days.
The bone graft is then inserted into the fracture to help your bone heal. Hardware may be used to keep it in place.