Urethral injuries can occur as a result of pelvic fractures from any number of accidents, falls, or other trauma. In men, such injuries can result in the urethra being completely torn just below the prostate; women rarely experience urethral injuries, unless they are related to pelvic fractures or cuts, tears, or direct trauma to the vaginal area.
Symptoms of a pelvic-fracture-related urethral injury can include:
- Slowing or blockage of normal flow of urine
- Leakage of urine into surrounding tissues
- Swelling, inflammation, infection and abdominal pain
- Inability to urinate
- Retention of urine in the bladder
- Blood in the urine
- Blood at the tip of the penis
- Swelling and bruising of the penis, scrotum and perineum
- Pain in the affected area
Treatment of inflammation in the abdominal cavity may include emergency surgery to repair the injury and drain the urine from the abdominal cavity. The bladder may be drained using a catheter via the urethra or the abdominal wall. This will prevent urine from building up in the bladder, allowing the injured bladder or urethra to heal. This also prevents swelling in the urethra from blocking urine flow.
Surgical repair of the injury is usually successful.