Splenic Laceration: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

What Is Splenic Laceration?

Splenic Laceration is a condition that normally is caused due to a direct blow or a blunt trauma in the abdominal region of the body. The primary presenting feature of a Splenic Laceration is severe abdominal pain which tends to radiate to the shoulder along with tenderness to palpation in and around the abdominal region.

Diagnosis of Splenic Laceration is made by CT or ultrasonography. Treatment is with observation and sometimes surgical repair; rarely, splenectomy is necessary. In some cases, such as in a motor vehicle accident, the impact of the trauma is such that the entire spleen may get ruptured which requires emergent medical treatment.

Treatment for splenic laceration usually involves observation for worsening of the condition and rest to allow the spleen to heal on its own. In some cases surgery may be required to treat Splenic Laceration.

What Is Splenic Laceration?

What Causes Splenic Laceration?

The primary cause of a Splenic Laceration is a direct blow or trauma to the abdominal region such as during a motor vehicle collision, a gunshot wound to the abdomen, or a stabbing injury to the abdominal area.

Splenomegaly caused due to viral infections like an Epstein-Barr virus may predispose an individual to Splenic Laceration even with minimal trauma. Subscapular hematomas and capsular lacerations are yet another cause for Splenic Laceration.

What Are The Symptoms Of Splenic Laceration?

The primary symptoms of a Splenic Laceration are pain in the left upper quadrant in the abdominal region which at times may radiate to the shoulder. Additionally, the patient may go into shock as a result of the trauma or have hemorrhage which again is a symptom of a Splenic Laceration. Individuals who have a left rib fracture are more likely to have Splenic Laceration.

How Is Splenic Laceration Diagnosed?

Once an individual presents with left upper quadrant pain which is unexplained and radiates to the left shoulder and has a history of a recent blunt trauma to the abdominal area raises suspicion for a Splenic Laceration.

Once a physician suspects a Splenic Laceration then an ultrasound of the abdomen will be ordered to inspect the abdominal region, especially of the spleen or a CT scan which will clearly show the injury to the spleen and confirm the diagnosis of a Splenic Laceration.

How is Splenic Laceration Treated?

There are two ways to treat a Splenic Laceration, of which one is observation. During the observation, the patient will be monitored closely with serial scans to observe for any worsening of the condition and to see whether the injury is healing.

The patient may have to spend some days in the hospital and once it is deemed okay, the patient may be discharged. Medications may be given for controlling pain and inflammation caused by the Splenic Laceration.

Another way of treating Splenic Laceration is by way of surgery. However, surgery is not recommended for individuals who are above 60 years of age or in children below 10 years of age as surgery would predispose them to infections due to the surgery, which may complicate the clinical picture.

The surgery normally done to treat a Splenic Laceration is surgical repair of the laceration or in some cases even splenectomy. Hemorrhage is a complication which can arise during surgery for treating Splenic Laceration.

As a result of probable hemorrhage, the patient may require blood transfusions as deemed appropriate by the surgeon at the time of surgery. Once surgery is completed, the patient is given vaccines to prevent any infections that may arise postsurgery for treatment of Splenic Laceration.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 16, 2018

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