Jordan Strauss/AP
People Staff
March 24, 2015 12:55 PM

Harrison Ford is on the mend.

The 72-year-old actor is expected to leave the hospital by the end of the week, a source tells PEOPLE.

Ford has been at UCLA Medical Center since March 5, when he was admitted following a plane crash that left him with numerous injuries, including a large wound to his scalp and, according to KTLA, broken bones in his ankle and pelvis.

The star has been recovering with help from his wife, actress Calista Flockhart, who has been making daily visits to the hospital.

Following his release, Ford will likely make a full recovery from his reported pelvic fracture, says Dr. Beny Charchian, Founder of the Joint and Spine Institute in Beverly Hills.

If there is no bleeding or nerve or organ damage, such fractures can often heal without surgery, says Charchian, who has not treated Ford.

In more severe cases requiring surgery, patients are “under bed rest for a few days and then they initiate physical therapy,” says the doctor. “The therapy is primarily stabilization exercises and also gait training like actually getting the patient up and moving again – pretty much just learning how to walk while minimizing the pain.”

Recovery time for most patients is typically six to 12 weeks, a period when patients must often use crutches or a walker while the bone heals.

Once that happens, patients “usually start to resume their normal activities, but it can take up to a year for them to reach their pre-injured condition level,” adds Charchian.

Still, rehabilitation is “dependent on different patients and how they respond to their surgeries and their therapy,” says Charchian, who adds, “pelvic fractures are generally seen in high-impact injuries” like Ford’s plane crash.

And in Ford’s case, with an added broken ankle, “chances are he’s either in a boot or a cast,” says Charchian. “It’s just a second thing that’s affecting all of this so he’s dealing with two separate issues that together can make the rehabilitative process that much harder.”

But with “a lot of effort and therapy and pain control,” says Charchian, “you can make a full recovery.”

With reporting by MELODY CHIU and MARIAH HAAS

You May Like