The appearance of an anal fissure can cause serious pain. An anal fissure is a superficial but painful lesion of the anal canal wall. Early management is necessary to avoid any risk of complications. Update on the symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatments of an anal fissure.
Anal Fissure | Symptoms,| Treatment Relief, |
The anal fissure is a chronic or acute lesion, most often superficial, which is characterized by ulceration located at the base of the rectum, on the wall of the anal canal. The anal fissure is the second proctological affection in France. Under simple medical treatment, it usually resolves within 6 to 8 weeks.
In the course of an anal fissure, pain may occur, such as stinging of moderate or severe intensity, anal itching (anal pruritus), sphincter muscle spasms, and blood in stool. Note: “reflex” constipation caused by the pain of stool expulsion may aggravate the anal fissure. In all cases, especially in the presence of blood in the stool, consult your doctor without delay at the onset of symptoms mentioned above.
Causes and risk factors
Repeated constipation, hard stool emissions, episodes of diarrhea, and hemorrhoids represent risk factors as well as age. The anal fissure is more common in young people, especially babies 6 months to 2 years. It is also found in the elderly: the anal fissure is then linked to a lack of vascularization of the wall of the anal canal, caused by aging. Childbirth, inflammatory bowel diseases (eg Crohn’s disease) and certain sexual practices such as sodomy favor cracks.
On the basis of a diagnosis based on an interrogation and a clinical examination, anal fissure treatment may involve:
Hygienic and dietary rules (abundant drinks, high-fiber diet), a mild laxative treatment, intended to regulate the transit, oral analgesics (pain relief), or local topicals for healing or anesthetic purposes (forms: ointments or suppository) that reduce inflammation. Anxiolytics may be combined to reduce an eventual anxiety syndrome associated with the expulsion of hard stools. In case of more severe forms or chronic anal fissure, surgery under loco-regional or general anesthesia is considered. It involves removing some of the sphincter muscles to suppress sphincter spasms and promote healing. The risk of complications exists like anal incontinence, but it is rare.