Management of colorectal trauma: a review

Ju Yong Cheong*, Anil Keshava

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Traumatic colorectal injuries are common during times of military conflict, and major improvements in their care have arisen in such periods. Since World War II, many classification systems for colorectal trauma have been proposed, including (i) Flint Grading System; (ii) Penetrating Abdominal Trauma Index; (iii) Colonic/Rectal Injury Scale; and (iv) destructive/non-destructive colonic injuries. The primary goal of these classifications was to aid surgical management and, more particularly, to determine whether a primary repair or faecal diversion should be performed. Primary repair is now the preferred surgical option. Patients who have been identified as having destructive injuries have been found to have higher anastomotic leak rates after a primary repair. Damage control principles need to be adhered to in surgical decision-making. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms of injury, classifications, clinical presentation and current recommendations for the management of colorectal trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-553
Number of pages7
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • colorectal trauma
  • faecal diversion
  • primary repair


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