Kidney trauma

While the kidneys are relatively well-protected by the muscles of the back, they can be injured by blunt force (such as during a car accident) or by a penetrating wound (such as a gunshot). Certain sports can lead to kidney injury, such as football, hockey, soccer, horseback riding, ice skating, rugby, and lacrosse.

What are the symptoms of kidney trauma?

When kidneys are injured, there often is blood in the urine, but not always. Abdominal pain or flank pain may indicate kidney trauma, especially in cases where ribs have been broken or bruised. If abdominal pain or flank pain occurs after your child is injured, see your physician for an evaluation.

How is it treated?

The best way to check for kidney trauma is an abdominal CT scan and a urine test, which checks for visible or microscopic blood in the urine. An ultrasound, X-ray, or intravenous pyelogram may help make the diagnosis. If the kidney is severely injured, a surgeon will need to stop the bleeding and/or repair the kidney. In rare cases, the kidney is too damaged to be saved and part or all of it must be removed.

About surgery for kidney trauma at Children’s

The pediatric urology surgery team at Children’s provides next-generation care to neonatal infants, newborns, children, and adolescents from throughout the Upper Midwest. The team consistently performs some of the most cutting-edge surgical procedures available, including newborn surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and robotic surgery, when appropriate. Urologic surgery is performed at Children’s – Minneapolis, Children’s – St. Paul and Children’s – Minnetonka.

  • If you are a family member looking for a Children’s specialist in urology surgery, please call the Center for Pediatric Urology at 1-800-992-6983.
  • If you are a health professional looking for a consultation or referral information, please call Children’s Physician Access at 1-866-755-2121 (toll-free).