Urethral and bladder neck injury associated with pelvic fracture in 25 female patients

J Urol. 2006 Jun;175(6):2140-4; discussion 2144. doi: 10.1016/S0022-5347(06)00309-0.


Purpose: We describe the presentation, diagnostic evaluation, management and outcome of female urethral trauma.

Materials and methods: All female patients treated at Harborview Medical Center between 1985 and 2001 with urethral injury were identified by International Classification of Diseases 9th revision code. Approval of the Human Subject Division was obtained and patient charts were reviewed. The Urogenital Distress Inventory Short Form, the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire Short Form and the Female Sexual Function Index were sent to the patients.

Results: A total of 25 patients (13 adults, 12 children) with a mean age of 22 years (range 4 to 67) met inclusion criteria. All had pelvic fracture related to blunt trauma. They represented 6% of all female patients treated in the same review period with pelvic fracture. Blood was seen at the introitus in 15 patients and 19 had gross hematuria. Of the injuries 9 were avulsions, 15 were longitudinal lacerations and 1 was not further specified. Primary repair was performed in 21 patients and 4 were treated nonoperatively. There were 5 patients who required secondary procedures including fistula repair in 4 and continent urinary diversion in 1. At a mean followup of 7.3 years (range 1.6 to 14.4) 9 of 21 patients (43%) had moderate or severe lower urinary tract symptoms and 8 of 13 (38%) had sexual dysfunction (FSFI score less than 26.55).

Conclusions: Female urethral and bladder neck injury occurs with pelvic fracture, presents with gross hematuria and/or blood at the introitus, and requires operative repair for avulsions and longitudinal lacerations. These patients are at risk for significant sexual and lower urinary tract dysfunction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / complications*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Bones / injuries*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urethra / injuries*
  • Urinary Bladder / injuries*