what are the symptoms of an abdominal wall fracture
Back to blogsWritten on: 2023-04-07

What are the symptoms of an abdominal wall fracture?

Does your abdomen bother you, but you don't know exactly what it is? This blog will tell you what an abdominal wall fracture is and its symptoms.

What is an abdominal wall fracture?

An abdominal wall hernia is a protrusion of the peritoneum through an opening or weakness in the abdominal wall. When too much pressure is put on the rupture, some of the abdominal contents may come out through this opening or weak spot. This causes visible swelling on the abdomen.

An abdominal wall rupture is usually caused by stretching of the abdominal wall. This happens due to frequent coughing, an increase in body weight, squeezing, pregnancy and excessive lifting. In addition, an abdominal wall hernia can also occur due to a congenital weakness in the abdominal wall.

Various abdominal wall fractures

There are different variations of abdominal wall fracture, each with different symptoms and treatments. The most common are umbilical hernia, upper abdominal hernia and scar fracture.

Umbilical hernia

An umbilical hernia involves a bulging of the peritoneum around the area of the umbilicus due to a weakness or opening in the abdominal wall. The symptoms of an umbilical hernia vary with age.


Children usually suffer little from umbilical hernia. In them, the pressure in the abdomen increases when they laugh, push or cry, but this often does not hurt.


Adults, on the other hand, may experience symptoms. When coughing, sneezing and squeezing, the swelling in the umbilicus may increase, making it more visible. This can cause a burning sensation. When the pain is not too severe, the swelling is often easy to push back.

If the swelling cannot be pushed back, it means the bulge is in knots. If the bowel becomes trapped in the rupture, for example, this can be life-threatening. In the case of entrapment, severe pain will occur. In that case, surgery is needed.

Upper abdominal fracture

In an upper abdominal fracture, the fracture is slightly above the umbilicus. The fracture can be recognized by a swelling above the umbilicus. The difference with the other fractures is, that in this fracture, usually only fat tissue bulges out. An entrapment will therefore have few consequences. With this fracture, pain symptoms will rarely occur. When the upper abdominal fracture does hurt, surgery may help.

Scar fracture

When you have a scar on your abdomen, there may be a weakness in the abdominal wall. Because of this weakness, a scar fracture may occur, causing swelling at the site of the scar. The symptoms depend on the size of the fracture. If the abdominal contents are constricted, severe pain may occur. If the fracture is large, you may even experience back pain. These symptoms often require surgery. When the symptoms are mild, surgery is not necessary. This is because the surgery of a scar fracture is relatively major.


An abdominal wall hernia thus comes in many varieties. Generally, the main symptoms are swelling in the abdomen, a burning and stabbing sensation around the swelling and sometimes even severe pain in the abdomen or back.

An abdominal wall hernia can be treated by various methods. If it does not bother you much, an umbilical hernia belt or rib brace offers the right support. In the case of severe pain, it is advisable to see a doctor for possible surgery. This is because the abdominal contents may then be trapped. This is life-threatening. Treatment also depends on the size of the fracture, weight, age and health.

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