A ruptured bladder is a very serious injury that can be brought about a number of ways. Car crashes, a severe fall or a hefty blow to the abdominal area can bring it on, as can injuries sustained during pelvic surgery. Several symptoms will usually accompany the condition, which may start off mild but then escalate the longer the bladder remains ruptured. Most repairs will need to be done surgically and as quickly as possible.
Pain is one of the main symptoms of a ruptured bladder. The pain will be suprapubic, or in the centre of the lower part of the abdomen. The pain will often begin at a milder level but will quickly escalate during a short period of time, frequently to an intolerable level. The pain will be constant. Tenderness in that same area will often precede or accompany the pain.
Bladder distension, which is the inability to urinate, is another sign that the bladder may be ruptured. If a bladder is working normally, a person can urinate at will and completely empty the bladder. When a bladder is ruptured, the urine may be held unnaturally and abnormally without the person's control.
A ruptured bladder may also result in hematuria, which is blood in the urine. Physicians can usually mark a problem depending on the colour and amount of blood and at during which stage of urination it occurs: at the beginning, middle or end. With a ruptured bladder, the blood will be infused throughout urination. It will also be so plentiful as to be easily discerned by the naked eye, rather than needing a microscope as with other hematuria.
Areas in the lower torso may also become swollen from a ruptured bladder. These areas are likely to include the buttocks and the perineum, which is the pelvic floor surrounded by the pubic arch in front, the coccyx in back and the hipbones on each side. Men may also find themselves with a swollen scrotum from a ruptured bladder.
Because a ruptured bladder is so traumatic and often life-threatening, the person who suffers from one may go into shock. Some signs of shock include an extremely fast heartbeat, also known as tachycardia, and an extremely low blood pressure, also known as hypotension.