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Sports Related Injuries Can Directly Cause High-Grade Kidney Injury

Sports Related InjuriesBlunt injuries of the kidney occur as a result of a direct blow to the flank or from deceleration. Abdominal organs and kidneys are often prone to sport related injuries. The kidney is the third most common organ, after the spleen and liver, to sustain damage as a result of blunt force trauma. Approximately 30% of all renal injuries are sport related.

Sport related traumas such as a single blow to the belly or side can result in a significant kidney injury, finds a new study published at the 109th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). Researchers from the University of Utah and the Intermountain Medical Center conducted this statewide study using information gathered from the state trauma database to determine if sport-related trauma is capable of directly producing high-grade kidney injury.

Researchers reviewed the records of renal trauma patients treated at Utah-based trauma centers between January 2005 and January 2011. Data on patient demographics, injury characteristics, management, and outcomes was collected and available radiological imaging was reviewed. They analyzed the patients’ records and graded the severity of their injuries. The researchers identified 138 patients with a grade III to V injury on the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) kidney injury scale; 42 were sports-related and 96 were not.

Results also showed:

  • Men experienced injuries more than women, and thirty percent of injuries to the kidney were sustained during sporting activities.
  • Cycling, skiing and snowboarding were the reasons for isolated high-grade sport-related renal injuries.
  • While the mean injury severity score for sport-related trauma was 12.6, that for non-sport related trauma was 27.3.
  • The mean AAST renal trauma grade for sport-related injury was 3.5 (SD 0.55) and for non-sport-related injury it was 3.7 (SD 0.78).

The researchers concluded that doctors should consider the possibility of serious kidney injuries when evaluating patients with sports injuries. If left untreated, such accident, work and sport injuries can lead to pain and related problems. The approach to sport injuries has changed over time. Now customized rehabilitation programs are available to get each patient back to an active lifestyle.

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