A kidney injury is a bruise, cut, or tear of a kidney. The kidneys are inside the belly, on either side of the spine just above the waist. They make urine by taking waste products and extra salt and water from the blood.
What is the cause?
Common causes of kidney injuries involve blows to your back or belly such as:
Accidents or falls while playing a sport, at a job, in a car, or on a bicycle
A fight in which you are hit, kicked, punched, stabbed with a sharp object, or shot by a gun
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may include:
Bruising or pain in the back or side
Blood in the urine
How is it diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine you. Tests may include:
CT scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to show detailed pictures of the kidneys
How is it treated?
Most kidney injuries do not need surgery. You may need to rest in bed for a day or two while the kidney heals.
You may need surgery to repair or remove the kidney if:
The kidney is badly damaged.
You have bleeding that doesnâ€™t stop.
How can I take care of myself?
Take pain medicine as directed by your healthcare provider. Donâ€™t take ibuprofen unless your healthcare provider says that itâ€™s OK. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may cause stomach bleeding and other problems. These risks increase with age.
Drink plenty of liquids.
Avoid strenuous exercise or activities.
Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Ask your provider:
How and when you will hear your test results
How long it will take to recover
What activities you should avoid and when you can return to your normal activities
How to take care of yourself at home
What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them
Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2014-08-25 Last reviewed: 2014-08-25
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Kidney Injury: References
McCombie S, Thyer I, Corcoran N, Rowling C, Dyer J, Le Roux A, Kuan M, Wallace D, Hayne D. (2014). The conservative management of renal trauma: a literature review and practical clinical guideline from Australia and New Zealand. BJU Int. 2014 Aug 14.
Colling KP, Irwin ED, Byrnes MC, Reicks P, Dellich WA, Reicks K, Gipson J, Beilman GJ. (2014). Computed tomography scans with intravenous contrast: Low incidence of contrast-induced nephropathy in blunt trauma patients.J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2014 Aug; 77(2):226-30.