The kidneys are located on either side of the spinal column, above the waist. Any injuries to the kidneys are referred to as kidney trauma or renal damage. Since the kidneys are so deep in the abdomen, the rib cage, spine, and the strong muscles in the back protect them. Damage, trauma, or injury to the kidneys can be extremely painful as well as detrimental to a person's health. Both internal and external factors can still contribute to kidney trauma.
There are various reasons that a person could suffer from kidney trauma. Most trauma is caused by blunt trauma due to falls, motor vehicle collisions, and assaults. In cases where blunt trauma has negatively impacted the kidneys, the person usually sustains other injuries to the body as well.
There are two primary ways that doctors can determine whether or not a person is suffering from kidney trauma. The trauma can be diagnosed through a urinalysis as well as a CAT scan. When the kidneys are injured due to internal causes, there is usually damage to the blood vessels that supply or drain the kidneys. The kidneys have a exceptionally large blood supply, which can be compromised if a person suffers from arterial blockage, aneurysms, or renal vein thrombosis.
Some kidney trauma is environmental. Exposure to toxic substances such as cleaning products, fuels or even pain medications can cause kidney damage. In other cases, the trauma occurs because of an immune response to infection or medication.
If a person is suffering from kidney trauma, he or she will experience certain symptoms. Common symptoms of kidney damage or trauma include back pain, abdominal pain, swelling, fever, sweating, nausea, and pale skin. Constant and chronic symptoms of trauma include weight loss, irritability, and constipation.
There are numerous methods that doctors and healthcare professionals use to treat kidney trauma and injuries. In most cases, nonsurgical treatments such as bed rest can heal the trauma. The only time that surgery is needed for kidney trauma is when a fracture in the kidney must be repaired, or blood vessels are torn. In some cases, an individual may need his or her entire kidney surgically removed to prevent more serious health consequences.