Mother Nature wisely hid some pretty important organs in your pelvic basin—your uterus and vagina, bladder and—which are protected by your bones, muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.
Moving: Muscles, Joints, Ligaments, and Tendons
The major job of your pelvic structure is allowing movement: walking, running, sitting, bending and kneeling. Your bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments do this job. Your pelvis is really a basin with three openings at the bottom. The front of the basin is made of three bones: the ishium (sit bone), ilium, and pubis, and the back consists of your lower spine: sacrum and coccyx, or tailbone. The socket for the top of your femur or leg bone reaches into your pelvis on either side and rides on a something called your acetabulum, a cup-like structure formed where your ischium, ilium, and pubis all meet. Your acetabulum allows you to move your body and moving your body is what keeps you healthy.
Joints are simply the place where two bones connect. They are constructed to allow movement and provide mechanical support. Joints can be fibrous (joined by dense regular, collagen fibers), joined by cartilage (translucent somewhat elastic tissue), or the joint may include a synovial cavity to cushion movement, like your hip joint. Your pelvis holds some of the most powerful ligaments in your body: including your symphysis pubis (front of your pelvis), sacroiliac (connects your sacrum and ilium), and sacrospinous (links each pelvic bone to your sacrum and coccyx and maintains the length of your vagina).
Without muscles, both your pelvic and belly contents would fall out. They hold your bladder, vagina, uterus and rectum and your abdominal contents in place. Your pelvic muscles will become important in this book when we discuss one of the major reasons for surgical pelvic mesh: pelvic organ prolapse. Three muscles working together, your puborectalis, pubococcygeus, and iliecoccygeus muscles, create your pelvic floor (perineum) and resist any additional pressure (like when you cough) to keep your urine and stool in check. Two thick membranes cover and protect your pelvic muscles and become important when surgery involves cutting them: your parietal (wall) layer and your visceral (internal organ) layer, which is closer to your abdominal organs.
Peggy Day is working on a book to combine all these stories. This is an excerpt from Pelvis in Flames: Your Pelvic Mesh Owner’s Guide. Your input is welcome to help make Pelvis in Flames the book you need to read.
If you’d like to join an online support group and learn about erosion, partial removals, surgeons, or just find out that you are not alone, join my group, Surgical Mesh or check the list of support groups here.
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