Kidney Laceration

A kidney laceration (or rupture) occurs following a blunt impact to the lower back region, whether it’s a fall or a physical attack. The extent of the injury can vary considerably and mild damage may not demonstrate many symptoms. Whether the damage is mild or severe, it is important to continually assess for deterioration in the condition.


Symptoms can vary and mild damage may initially show no symptoms. Usually, the abdomen will be painful on palpation. Blood in the urine. Nausea or vomiting. Changes in blood pressure and pulse. Shock may lead to unconsciousness.

It is usually caused by impacts on the abdomen, especially the lower back area. Falls, car accidents, and physical attacks are the most common causes.

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To confirm the diagnosis of a kidney laceration and the extent of the damage a patient may undergo:

  • A CT scan is to view the kidneys.
  • An Aortogram. This is where a special dye is injected into the main artery (the aorta). X-rays are then taken of the area as the blood containing the dye travels through the kidneys. A leak can be seen clearly here.

Treatment depends on the extent of the damage. Minor lacerations may only require observation to check that the kidney is still functioning efficiently. In more serious cases, surgery may be required. The aim of surgery is to stop bleeding and to preserve the kidney tissues and function.

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