Kidney contusion symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Kidney contusion (S37.1. According to the ICD-10 system) is a fairly common disease that usually occurs during road traffic accidents or fights.

The kidneys are a very important organ performing a filtration role, so it should be understood that a kidney injury is a serious pathology that can lead to such a complication as renal parenchyma.

The content of the article:
  1. Symptoms
  2. Diagnostics
  3. Prevention
  4. Treatment


The first symptoms of kidney bruises occur immediately. The main one is very severe and acute pain. In addition, the patient’s general health condition deteriorates significantly.

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Let’s note the main signs of a kidney injury:

  • Blood begins to appear in the urine. This process is called hematuria, and its intensity depends on the severity of the injury. There are often as many blood cells in the urine that can only be found under a microscope in a laboratory.
  • Sometimes (and this causes great anxiety in patients) urine with severe kidney injury can be completely red in color.
  • However, blood in the urine is not the most serious or alarming symptom. If blood clots have clogged the ureter, or if there is a hemorrhage outside the kidney, the urine may not contain blood at all. Also, it often happens that blood in the urine appears only a few days after the injury itself. Sometimes the time between the bruise and the appearance of blood is weeks, and the patient does not even know about the bruise.
  • In the lumbar region, edema (sometimes bruising) forms, while the painful sensations are pulling in nature. As described by the patient: A cross between spinal pain and bruising.
  • Sharp throbbing pain in the abdomen. The pain usually radiates to the groin. Most often, in the first days, the pain is almost imperceptible, however, it intensifies, completely disappearing only after 10-20 days, and sometimes even after a month.
  • A bruise is reflected not only in pain and in the composition of urine, but also in the general functioning of the kidneys. The patient’s well-being significantly deteriorates, however, indicators such as blood pressure and heart rate remain in full norm. The skin may sometimes turn pale, vomiting may be disturbing from a specific condition of a person. If this happens, then the pressure becomes somewhat reduced.
  • Bruising, like kidney infection, can cause significant increases in body temperature. The temperature can be 37,5, and can reach 40-41 degrees.
  • The muscles in the lumbar region, when palpating, are very tense, while pain is especially pronounced.
  • With a light (barely noticeable) blow of the palm on the twelfth rib, a sharp stabbing pain occurs.
  • There are obvious disruptions in the process of urination from a suspiciously long cessation to, on the contrary, frequent urge.

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To objectively determine the diagnosis, the doctor, first of all, asks many questions about the state of health, thereby making a connection between the patient’s complaints, the trauma that preceded the symptoms and the results of laboratory tests. Urine and blood tests are very important.

In addition, additional measures are being taken, such as:

  • Separate urine samples.
  • Ultrasound diagnostics of the kidney.
  • Isotope renography or magnetic resonance imaging of the kidney.
  • Retrograde ureteropyelographic examination.
  • Excretory urography.
  • X-ray examination.

X-ray data are the most complete and necessary in the diagnosis of kidney contusion. If on plain radiographs it is possible to determine the level and degree of local damage (including abdominal hematoma), then the diagnosis is made unambiguously, after which the type of treatment is prescribed.

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As such, there is no prevention of kidney injury. The fact is that (from the back) the kidneys are naturally not protected by an adequate layer of fat and muscle tissue. From the side of the abdominal cavity, the organ is protected by the ribs, abdominal muscles and fatty tissues, but most often kidney injuries occur on the back.

The best way to reduce the likelihood of injury is to wear special equipment for sports such as motorcycling or cycling.


Treatment begins after the patient undergoes all the necessary tests and the diagnosis is finally made. If the kidney contusion is minor, there is no internal bleeding, the general condition does not deteriorate (which indicates normal filtering functions of the organ), then hospitalization and surgery may not be necessary.

Moreover, if the bruise is very serious and bleeding is observed on the roentgenogram, then surgical intervention by surgeons may be required.

With a slight bruise, complete rest is very important, the patient should be in bed for several weeks. He is prescribed antiseptic, anti-inflammatory drugs, it is forbidden to engage in physical exercises. In some cases, when there is a moderate kidney injury, the patient is generally prohibited from getting out of bed for a long time.

Note that you cannot prescribe medications for yourself, since they can complicate the work of the kidneys and aggravate the inflammatory process.

In order to stop the pain, cold compresses are allowed: a towel is soaked in cool water and applied to the site of the injury. Such a simple method, which does not require taking pills, is surprisingly effective, the compress really helps to remove pain, which can be very strong in a recovering person at times.

After a few days, special thermal procedures will be allowed. They can only be used on the advice of the treating doctor. As a rule, they have a very good effect on the general healing process, in particular, on swelling, a few days of heat exposure can remove the hematoma.

Pain is the main symptom of the disease. As soon as the pain stops, the doctor, at his discretion, can weaken the treatment or stop it altogether.

In cases of severe injury, immediate hospitalization is required. Practice shows that urgent delivery to the hospital, examination and (if necessary) surgery can almost always avoid serious consequences.

A very difficult condition with a bruised kidney is a condition in which there are damage to other internal organs. In such cases, it is customary to use analgesics (as a rule, in injections, they have the best effect).

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.