Anal Fissure

Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

What is Anal Fissure?

An anal fissure is a cut or tear occurring in the anus (the opening through which stool passes out of the body) that extends upwards into the anal canal. Fissures are a common condition of the anus and anal canal and are responsible for 6% to 15% of the visits to a colon and rectal (colorectal) surgeon. They affect men and women equally and both the young and the old. Fissures usually cause pain during bowel movements that often is severe. Anal fissure is the most common cause of rectal bleeding in infancy.

Facts on anal fissures

Here are some key facts about anal fissures.

damage to the lining of the anus is a common cause
in some cases they are idiopathic (no known cause)
approximately 10 percent of people are affected in their lifetime
staying hydrated may help prevent anal fissures

Symptoms

The primary symptom of anal fissures is pain during and following bowel movements. The main signs and symptoms of an anal fissure include:

Pain

 

– especially when passing stools. During the passing of a stool the pain is sharp, and then afterward there may be a longer deep burning sensation. Fear of pain may put some patients off going to the toilet, increasing their risk of constipation.

If the person delays using the bathroom, this can make the pain and the tear worse, because the stools will be harder and larger. Some people may experience a sharp pain when they clean themselves with toilet paper.

Blood

– because the blood is fresh, it will be bright red and may be noticed on the stools or the toilet paper. Anal fissures in infants commonly bleed.

Itching

– in the anal area. The sensation may be intermittent or persistent

Dysuria

– discomfort when urinating (less common). Some patients may urinate more frequently.