Management of disorders of the posterior pelvic floor

Yale J Biol Med. 2005 Jul;78(4):211-21.


Introduction: Constipation is a relatively common problem affecting 15 percent of adults in the Western world, and over half of these cases are related to pelvic floor disorders. This article reviews the clinical presentation and diagnostic approach to posterior pelvic floor disorders, including how to image and treat them.

Methods: A Pubmed search using keywords "rectal prolapse," "rectocele," "perineal hernia," and "anismus" was performed, and bibliographies of the revealed articles were cross-referenced to obtain a representative cross-section of the literature, both investigational studies and reviews, that are currently available on posterior pelvic floor disorders.

Discussion: Pelvic floor disorders can occur with or without concomitant physical anatomical defects, and there are a number of imaging modalities available to detect such abnormalities in order to decide on the appropriate course of treatment. Depending on the nature of the disorder, operative or non-operative therapy may be indicated.

Conclusion: Correctly diagnosing pelvic floor disorders can be complex and challenging, and the various imaging modalities as well as clinical history and exam must be considered together in order to arrive at a diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Constipation / diagnosis
  • Constipation / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hernia / diagnosis
  • Hernia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pelvic Floor / pathology*
  • Rectal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Rectal Diseases / therapy*
  • Rectal Prolapse / diagnosis
  • Rectal Prolapse / therapy*
  • Rectocele / diagnosis
  • Rectocele / therapy*