Bruised Kidney: Symptoms (From a Fall, Pain) Diagnosis, Treatment & Healing Time

A bruised kidney can lead to significant pain and discomfort. If not diagnosed and treated early, it properly may lead to serious kidney problems and even death.

Here’s an in-depth look into this common consequence of road accidents and other incidents that cause traumatic injuries to the kidneys.


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.

Bruised kidney from a fall
A fall can cause darkening of the skin on the sides.

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.

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 contusions 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.

These include 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 are 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.

Pain is the most important symptom of injury or infection. It is usually 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 symptom of internal bruising. It is usually experienced at the point of impact e.g. where the impact of the seat belt was absorbed.

Other symptoms of kidney contusion include nausea, vomiting, blood in the urine, and muscle spasms in the lower back area.

Severe cases of contusion can also cause other secondary symptoms such as low blood pressure and anemia (usually as a result of losing too much blood).

Very severe cases of bruising and injury may even lead to death when a kidney’s attachment to blood vessels is torn leading to excessive bleeding.


Common diagnoses include:

  • Urine tests
  • MRI and CT scans
  • X-rays

As part of the 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 or injury.

For example; 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

Most bruising in the abdominal area can be caused by accidental falls.

The severity of kidney bruising and injury varies depending on the degree of impact sustained on this vital organ. Blood leaking 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 yes, it is also important to involve your parents in this.

Pain on sides of abdomen

Abdominal pain goes hand in hand with bruising and contusion of the kidney. This is usually attributed to the injuries sustained as well as the other sites affected by the trauma or impact.

Pain due to kidney bruising
Pain may be felt on the lower back or abdomen as well as flanks.

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 an injured abdomen, 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 (hurting with slight movement) may however require a prescription of narcotic pain-relief medications. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.


Can abdominal bruises heal with treatment?

First, your doctor may aim 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 have 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 injuries 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 the 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 able to recover fully and 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 blood pressure, and delayed bleeding may also result from some cases of bruised kidneys.

More to know

  • Drinking alcohol may cause kidneys to hurt. Pain may intensify from drinking due to a damaged kidney.
  • The healing time may depend on the seriousness of the injury. A severe or deep contusion will take longer to heal compared to a mild bruise.
  • You may experience long term effects especially if the injury in the kidney area is deep or serious.
  • Deep tissue massage can also cause slight injuries to the abdominal area.


Check Also

Bruised Arm Muscle, Vein from IV Blood Draw and a Red Bruise on Arm

A bruised vein in arm or bruised muscle could lead to a red bruise on arm. Knowing how to get rid of a bruise on arm goes a long way in helping to get the hand back to normal.


  1. I fell and went to ER, my fall was only from about 2 foot but at 250 lbs but it hurt. I landed on right side bruised hip joint and left wrist and right thumb and ribs are killing me. Reason I am curious about kidney is because I could feel the sensation I had to go, but could not feel stream start or stop. About 4 days later I could still feel urge to go but also stream start but not stop. Now I have all feeling of needing to go, start and stop, but now am having a slight burning sensation when urinating. They did do x-rays at hospital and doped me up for five days as they sent me home. It has been 10 days now since the fall, I still have pain in rib area, lower back, and side. Will the burning sensation go away on its own or will something else need to be done here. I went to a v.a. emergency room to start with and returned to PCP for follow up and was put on high dose antibiotics for possible infection which they said could be causing pain.

  2. I was getting out of the bathtub and the floor was wet.I slipped and hit my left lower back (the kidney region) on the side of the bathtub. I felt intense pain but I got up got dressed and brushed my teeth and washed my face. By the time I got out of the bathroom my hands were shaking , I was nauseated, disoriented and in so much pain. I went to lie down but my kids kept bothering me about making them a sandwich. I went downstairs started making it and everything just got blurry and I zoned out. I could no longer continue. I went up stair and got my older daughter to help me finish. I felt as if I was about to pass out. I went to lay down and began to feel a little better. One of my children came up started talking to me and it was if they were talking to me and I wasn’t really there. Things began to get blurry, it felt like when I start getting a migrane, my head started hurting like a bad headache not a migraine. After and hour and a half of resting I was still in so much pain but the nausea and shaking went away. I still had a headache and was in so much pain. I drank some water and went to the bathroom. My urine was clear there was no sign of blood.
    I was able to fall asleep and woke to the bad pain. I can only sleep on my back and its very hard to get out of bed.I haven’t taken anything for the pain. Seems like as long as I am in bed not moving the pain is minimal.

  3. Janet C Campbell

    I had a violent fall. My butt never hit it was my torso. I slipped on the ice. I had whip lash in my neck and my elbow caught the jist of my fall was bruised really bad. I thought i cracked y ribs. It was pretty much left side. Now im having pain in y back right side kidney area. Had x ray cat scan is tender to the touch. The found little blood in my urine my last test none. Going in for MRI next. What is the difference from a cat scan to an MRI? I wiped blood last night after urinated. But same day did not see blood in urine from test.

  4. I had a serious fall at speed whilst jumping my horse. I collided with the jump and landed on a pole. I am in extreme pain which makes it hard to breath when moving. Laying on my back is impossible.

  5. My husband fell on his lower right side of his back directly on/under rib cage. He started feeling fine within a couple of days then he had a deep cough which made it worse immediately and then cause pain from he hit his lower back to his lower abdomen (right side). He is breathing fine and is able to walk around. No blood in stool or urine, no fever, no nausea, no vomiting, and other than the pain he doesn’t seem to have any other symptom. It’s day 5 since the injury. Anything I should be concerned about? I believe he has a low pain threshold so I feel like he’s just a bit more sensitive (

  6. I hope someone can help im a male 51 and about 23 stones i fell on to my stomach left side was the worst it happened just over a week ago and is causing me a dull ache with some pain im worried may be something bad but people just tell me its bruising and might take 6 weeks to get better would it be prudent to go to my doctor for a check up any advice would be gratefully recieved !

  7. I need to know the longevity problems after a bursed kidney heals?

  8. My 5year old has pink urine ,pain on her left side back -rib cage -abdominal pain.the hospital only checked her urine and nothing else .she said she fell from the highest monkey bar she fell on her left side but I’m not sure what it could be she has no bruising ?? Any thoughts

  9. Hello, I slipped and fell on my icy steps this morning, landing very hard on the left side/flank of my back. I am in pain, with difficulty bending, turning, sitting and getting up from a sitting position. Sudden movements are very painful. I am swollen on that side, but so far I don’t see blood in my urine. Do you think it’s muscular or do you think I could have damaged my kidney?

  10. Melanie D Brumfield

    Need advice PLEASE! Took a hard fall while walking my dog last Friday…this is now early Friday am of following week. I was not able to brace for impact AT ALL and fell mostly on left side of upper abdomen and left side of rib cage. My true dilemna, after a week of pain, swelling, difficulty breathing when trying to do anything above walking slowly…am at times BARELY able to stand upright. Hours after the fall on asphalt, while reaching high for an object, I felt a sort of SNAPOING sensation directly under left breast…so excruciating I actually turned white as a ghost from pain and could hardly gasp out the words’I hurt myself worse!’ to my friends.
    My blood pressure and pulse have been a good bit higher than normal as well. I am also feeling spine pain which I DO have normally but NOT TO THIS EXTENT and felt like a muscle was ‘swelling and rolling across my spine.
    I need to preface this next pain by saying that I had a perforated bowel 24 yrs ago due to laparoscopic complications and a dr with a God Complex who let me stay ‘blocked’ for 55 DAYS! Multiple …either 7 or 8 surgeries later, I have been told that my bowels are adhered to my ribcage and abdominal wall and I stand a 50% chance of surviving the surgery to repair all the damage.
    With that said, I’ve begun experiencing extreme swelling in abdomen from point of impact under left breast and on left side covering the rest of my abdomen in its entirety with additional swelling at first point of impact. The pain is now RADIATING STRAIGHT BACK as if I’ve been shot straight thru with a deep burning sensation and a sort of numbness directly in the middle of the area which has been feeling numbness.
    Does any of this sound like the possible kidney damage…besides the damage I already have, of course!

  11. I fell on top of a metal ladder on the ground and hit my flank in back. Pain pills don’t seem to work and the spasms are constant. Like an electric pole being stuck in my back, side and last night moved to my stomach. I’m in so much pain

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *