Bladder injuries are rare, as it is located in a protected place in the abdominal cavity. Possible damages are generally a consequence of a direct blow to the pelvis which may break and the sharp bone fragment may pierce the bladder wall. The outcome is inevitably serious, as the urine will leak into the abdominal cavity. Tearing of the urethra is more common, albeit less dangerous, in men, and can be cause by falling or hit in the groin. In women, urethra is very short and hence the damage on it is extremely rare.
Tearing (rupture) of the bladder is accompanied by severe pain in the abdominal cavity and sometimes with the signs of shock. Urethral injuries are also very painful, and often the injured person cannot urinate. There may also be a bloody red discharge from penis (or on the urethra opening in women).
Bladder rupture is dangerous because urine leaking into the abdominal cavity causes peritonitis, a condition requiring urgent and specialized hospital treatment. On the other hand, urethral damage usually does not lead to peritonitis. In men, there is a possibility of creating scars on the urethra, because the scar decreases the urine flow due to the tightness of the urethra.
What to do?
If you experience any of the symptoms of a ruptured bladder or urethra after the accident, contact your doctor immediately. A diagnosis is set after physical examination and, possibly, special X-rays of the bladder and by cystoscopy.
Bladder or urethral injuries require hospitalization. A patient will recieve antibiotics against infection; if the bladder is ruptured, a surgical procedure is required to ”repair” the ruptured area and to clean the abdominal cavity. If the urethra is damaged, a patient will need to use a catheter, meaning, a special devices called catheter will be used urine discharge for several days. until the urethra heals. However, in some cases, an operating procedure is required.