Beth Sullivan | December 7th, 2018
Jack Doyle Tight End for the Indianapolis Colts has more than playing for the same team in common with his quarterback Andrew Luck. Both players now have the experience of suffering a serious injury to their kidney following a hit during a game in their careers. Doyle spent Sunday night in the hospital after needing a procedure to treat a lacerated kidney.
Kidney injuries are the 3rd most common injury related to blunt trauma to the flank and lower abdominal region. Most of the kidney is protected behind the ribs and the muscles and fat of the lower back. However, the bottom 3rd of the kidney sits below the 12th rib and is susceptible to blunt force trauma from a hit in the flank or anterior abdominal wall just below the 12th rib.
A kidney injury is suspected when a player has persistent low back pain just under the ribs. A sample of urine is then examined for the presence of blood. Any blood in the urine is considered abnormal. A mild contusion may show only mild hematuria, blood in the urine that can only be seen when urine is examined with a microscope or a more significant injury when the blood is visible just by looking at the urine. The exact nature of the injury is determined with a CT scan.
Until the blood clears from the urine, a person with a kidney contusion or lacerated kidney is basically on bed rest. No physical activity of any kind. The urine will be checked daily to assure the blood is clearing. Since Doyle required a procedure, it is safe to assume his imaging showed continued bleeding. Recovery from surgery and the original laceration will take several weeks of fluid restrictions and limited activity. While his season is over, he should be good to go by the time we get to OTAs next spring.
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