What is Renal Trauma?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2019
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Renal trauma is a traumatic injury of a kidney. This type of trauma is often diagnosed as the result of a blunt force that impacts a kidney. For example, it may occur when the body contacts a solid object in a car accident or as the result of a fall from a significant height. This sort of trauma may also occur after an attack with a blunt object, knife, or gun. Renal trauma can affect individuals of all ages and may result in serious health problems in some cases.

There are two basic types of renal trauma, referred to as blunt force and penetrating injuries, a person may suffer. A diagnosis of a blunt force injury basically means a blunt force has hit the abdominal area and caused injury to one or both kidneys. This is the most common type of kidney trauma, and car accidents, falls, and purposeful physical attacks are the most likely culprits. A car accident victim may suffer this type of injury even if he didn’t strike a hard surface. In some cases, a seat belt exerts enough force on a person’s abdomen to cause this type of injury.


Penetrating injuries usually occur less frequently and may result from an attack on the patient. For example, a person may be stabbed or shot in the kidney. It is, however, also possible for this type of injury to occur accidentally. For example, a person could accidentally stab himself with a sharp, pointy object. It is even possible for a penetrating kidney trauma to occur during a mistake in an abdominal surgery.

Renal trauma injuries often occur along with other types of injuries. For example, a person with this type of trauma may also have injuries to other abdominal organs, such as the liver or spleen. Often, patients with this type of injury are diagnosed with non-abdominal injuries at the same time. A renal trauma patient may also be diagnosed with head injuries, for instance.

The treatment used for renal trauma typically depends on the specific type of kidney trauma a person has experienced as well as the extent of the injury. In many cases, treatment includes bed rest for minor traumas as well as surgical repair for more serious injuries. A person who has suffered only minor renal trauma may not need surgery while an individual who has suffered a knife or bullet wound may be more likely to need surgical treatment. Likewise, surgery may be used to treat kidney trauma when bleeding is excessive or persistent.


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