Anal Fissure Facts
An anal fissure is a small tear in the skin overlying the anus that may occur when a hard stool is passed. Constipation is the most common cause of anal fissures.
Pain during the passage of a hard bowel movement, and sharp pain that continues afterward are the most common symptoms of an anal fissure. Sitting can be quite painful with an anal fissure.
A few drops of blood may be seen in the toilet bowel or when wiping. In an infant, there may be blood in the diaper.
The sphincter muscles that surround the anus and help prevent stool leakage may go into spasm and cause longer lasting pain with an anal fissure.
Diagnosis is made by history and inspection of the anus. No other tests are usually needed.
Treatment basics include drinking more fluid and eating a high fiber diet. Stool softeners, fiber supplements, and laxatives may be prescribed.
Surgery is considered only after diet and medications have failed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/7/2014
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