Bruised Kidney Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Bruised Kidney can lead to significant pain and discomfort and if not diagnosed and treated early and properly may lead to serious kidney problems and even death. This guide will give you an in-depth look into this common consequence of road accidents and other incidents that cause traumatic injuries to the kidneys.

Bruised Kidney Symptoms

What are the symptoms of a bruised kidney? The unique location of kidneys in the flank (deep inside the back of the upper abdomen) provides them with adequate protection from external forces.

In that area, they get protection form not only the abdomen itself but also from the strong back muscles, the spine, and lower rib cages and there is a good reason for this; kidneys have a particularly large supply of blood and injury to them can cause significant bleeding.

You can still sustain a bruised kidney, otherwise known as a kidney contusion, nevertheless as a result of direct traumatic impact to the lower back that causes damages to blood vessels in the kidney. You are also likely to get rib cage bruises and injuries.

This is usually attributed to car accidents but any other factor that causes a significant blow to this area can as well cause a bruised kidney including a fall, physical assaults e.g. when kicked on the back, and injuries during sport activities e.g. getting hit by a hockey stick.

Most cases of bruises kidney as a result of blunt forces e.g. car accidents but some are serious and may lead to complications such as kidney failure, delayed bleeding, infection, and high blood pressure if the right medical treatment is not sought.

Kidney bruising is associated with bleeding inside the kidney and pain is the most important kidney symptom, usually being felt in the upper abdomen right away from the time of impact. It is also felt in the lower area of the back – especially the area between the ribs and flank – usually on one side. Tenderness is also commonly experienced in the flank and abdomen areas.

Bruising (discoloration) of the skin is yet another common bruised kidney symptom, usually being experienced at the point of impact e.g. where the impact of the seat belt was absorbed. Other symptoms of a kidney bruising include nausea, vomiting, blood in the urine, and muscle spasms in the lower back area.

Severe cases of kidney contusion can also cause other secondary symptoms such as low blood pressure, anemia, usually as a result of losing too much blood. Very severe cases of kidney bruising may even lead to death when a kidney’s attachment to blood vessels is torn eading to excessive bleeding.

Bruised Kidney Diagnosis

As part of the bruised kidney diagnosis, your doctor or nurse will undertake a physical examination and ask you several questions in relation to your symptoms and history of events leading to the bruising of the kidney e.g. did you sustain a blow to your back or abdomen? Your doctor might also ask you about any recent illnesses.

Physical examination involves looking for evidence of excessive bleeding or hemorrhage, extreme tenderness, shock (usually by checking the rate of the heart and pressure) and signs of kidney failure.

Urinalysis is also often done to test for the presences of traces of blood in your urine. Your doctor may also require that an X-ray is done to check for more serious injuries such as fractured ribs. MRI and CT scans may also be necessary to ascertain that there is no internal bleeding.

Bruised Kidney from a Fall

“I suffered a bruised kidney from a fall off a tree while playing with my friends in the neighborhood yesterday. Today in the morning, I noticed some specks of blood in my urine and I am really scared. I am afraid to tell my parents as they could get angry with me. Is this a serious condition or will it go away on its own (and luckily without having to involve my parents)?” Jim

The severity of kidney bruising and injury varies depending on the degree of impact sustained on this vital organ. Blood leak into urine is a common symptom of kidney injuries, but it is always a good idea to have a doctor or any other medical professional check you.

Your safest course of action is to book an appointment with your doctor right away. And oh yeah! It is also important to involve your parents in this.

Bruised Kidney Pain

Abdominal pain goes hand in hand with bruising of kidneys. This is usually attributed to the injuries sustained to the kidney as well as the other sites affected by the trauma or impact. Some patients may even complain of pain throughout their abdominal region. Some patients also report feeling pain in the flank area – between the lower rib cage and the upper end of the hip.

To ease the pain from a bruised kidney, your doctor may recommend using over the counter analgesic medications such as None-steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs the likes of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin etc.) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol). More severe injuries with more intense pain may however require a prescription of narcotic pain-relief medications. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.

Bruised Kidney Treatment

Bruised kidney treatment aims at treating the emergency symptoms while preventing and managing any complications that arise.

For Mild cases of kidney bruising, the patient is only needed to take lots of bed rest until bleeding has receded – usually for 1 to 2 weeks – while under the observation of a medical professional (in a hospital of course) who monitors the patient closely for any signs of kidney failure.

Careful observation and control of fluid intakes also forms part of the treatment for a bruised kidney. It is usually just a matter of a short time – usually about a week – before such cases of kidney bruises heal on their own.

Treatment of more serious kidney bruises on the other hand involves measures aimed at controlling further blood loss while preventing possible shocks. Your doctor may give fluids intravenously to regulate blood pressure and stimulate the production of urine.

Although rarely, surgical intervention may be necessary e.g. when kidney is bleeding excessively and persistently, has a blood clot surrounding it, or has the blood vessels attached to it torn.

With prompt diagnosis and treatment most patients are ableto recover fullyand have their kidney working all perfect again but there are also few cases of patients who require lifelong treatment as a result of chronic kidney problems. Infection, high bloodpressure, and delayed bleeding may also result from some cases of bruised kidneys.

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  1. I had a lithotripsy late Dec. of 2015 and first week of Jan . 2016 I started to have terrible lower back pain plus soreness which I think is my kidney area. I thought it was my QL muscle but pretty sure the Lithotripsy I had done on my left side is causing my lower back pain plus the radiating pain I have when I push in the area near my kidney. So it has been now about 11 weeks since I had the lithotripsy done. What doctor should I see to determine if I have a very bruised kidney? MY primary care doctor or go back to my Uroligist??

    • Hello Mark,
      Sorry about your pain. Since you had lithotripsy and it is likely it is the primary cause of the soreness or bruise, we recommend that you see your urologist. He/she will refer you to a primary care doctor if they think your problem can be gotten rid of by a GP. Best of luck from [Treat n’ Cure Fast]

  2. Hi I’m almost 300 lbs and fell. Hurt my back and rib but all started feeling better in 4-5 days but then the area around my waist around the front and back started to hurt. After a week the pain is crippling!! I’m thinking its a tore mussel maybe. How long till I start feeling. Relief. Can’t sleep from the pain can’t walk can’t work can’t take a deep breath without wincing in pain. Please give me some info??

    • Hello Susan, sorry for your pain. Pain when breathing or moving your upper body could be a sign of a bruised rib. Rib contusions can cause internal bleeding, which is not healthy. An infection could be developing. Please see a doctor as soon as possible.

  3. Hi I read this article regarding Bruised Kidney and I think this is what my 92yr old mother has just had happen to her after a fall at home – she doesnt however have any bllod in her urine but does complain about pain on her right hand sside lower back as well as abdomen – the point of impact on her back feels rather warm – she has been taking Ibobrufen Pain killers and Voltarol pain gel which does seem to gradually ease some of the pain.
    After returning from hospital (4 weeks) due to a hip replacement op and suffering from Angina – its very hard for her to see a doctor again so heres hoping that rest and pain killers will do the job.

  4. I recently fell and broke my back. I am having severe pain on my sides and around towards my stomach not where the broken vertebra are. Please give some suggestions as I just want to die already. Thank you

    • Hello Kim,
      We are very sorry about your pain and discomfort. We sympathize with you. However, your symptoms seem to point towards a broken or bruised rib or kidney bruising. However, we strongly recommend that you do not attempt treating yourself at home as your situation is already very delicate. We recommend that you go to hospital and see a doctor immediately. Do not lose hope. Have faith. We wish you well.

  5. I felt this morning, in the shower. I pretty much fell on my right side hit the metal part of the short wall that you have to step over to get out of the shower ( kind of confusing). I was emidiately in pain and my side is pretty bruised and tender as is my lower back. Should I go to the doctor or just take some Advil and rest? I was told that I could have a bruised kidney.

  6. A board fell from approximately 3 feet above my sister & hit her in the right flank area yesterday. She’s in a lot of pain, nauseated & had blood tinged urine this morning. Should she increase her fluid intake? I know to watch for decreased urine output, stable Bp, bruising & mental status changes. Is there anything else to watch for & when should I take her to the hospital? Thanks for your help, she doesn’t have insurance right now, so we are trying to avoid the hospital if possible.

    • Hello,
      Please do not avoid hospital especially if she has blood-tinged urine and severe pain. See a doctor as soon as possible.

  7. Hi, i was kicked and punched in the back by my 14 year old step son and now when passing its a dark orange to red, and this is only when i am able to go, i have a lot of pain down the back under the rib. Luckily i managed to stop most of the impact with my arm which is also badly bruised. Do you think i might have a bruised kidney? Kind regards, craig

    • Sorry Craig for the misfortune. Yes, your kidney might have gotten injured. Your rib too. Please see a doctor as soon as possible.

  8. Hello! I was thowen from from my horse while riding in a full fast canter, landing on my left side of body. I have no external bruises bruises but having severe pain in my left flank . I have no blood in urine or bowel just extreme discomfort, do you think I should seek medical advise or just continue self care of bed rest and Aleve?

  9. Can you get a bruised kidney from a massage? There does not appear to be any blood in urine or any other symptoms besides dull pain. Occasionally sharp tinge of pain when rising from bed or after sitting.

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