The kidneys and the rest of the urinary tract may become injured in a number of ways. Examples include injuries from a blunt force (most commonly motor vehicle collisions, falls, or sports injuries) or a pentrating force (most commonly gunshot or stab wounds), or surgery. Injuries to the urinary tract often occur with injuries to other organs, especially abdominal organs. In men, the penis and testes may also be injured (see Penile and Testicular Disorders: Injuries to the Penis and Scrotum).
Because the function of the kidneys is to continuously filter out metabolic wastes from the blood and remove them from the body through the urinary tract, injuries to the kidneys or urinary tract can lead to the inability to perform these functions (kidney failure). Other complications of injury include bleeding, leakage of urine from the urinary tract into surrounding tissues, and infection. Preventing permanent damage to the urinary tract and even death may depend on prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Last full review/revision June 2007 by Noel A. Armenakas, MD