A tale of traumatic diaphragmatic hernia

Indrajit Anandakannan, Shanthi Ponnandai Swaminathan, Vikas Kawarat, Rajeshwari Mani, Arul Kumar Chinnappan, kannan R.


A traumatic diaphragmatic hernia is uncommon which accounts for 0.8 to 1.6%. In Blunt or penetrating abdominal injury, the patient presents as early or delayed respiratory distress or intestinal obstruction. We present the 55-year old female with a road traffic accident (pedestrian versus two-wheeler) with left-sided chest pain and breathlessness, left shoulder and leg pain referred to our institute. On examination, left hemithorax decreased breath sound and bowel sound was present, chest compression test positive, normal bowel sound in the abdomen, restricted left shoulder movement and abnormal mobility of shaft of left tibia and fibula. A plain X-ray of the chest and abdomen showed bowel shadow in the left hemithorax up to the apex. Computed tomography (CT) of thorax and abdomen shows herniation of stomach, transverse colon, omentum in the left hemithorax with collapsed left lung. A plain X-ray of the left shoulder shows neck of scapula fracture, left leg both bone fracture. Suggesting traumatic diaphragmatic hernia took emergency surgery, laparotomy was made intact stomach, transverse colon, omentum reduced with no injuries, radially placed diaphragmatic rent of size 10 cm × 5.5 cm through which left lung inferior lobe visualized, medial edge of rent close to the pericardial pad of fat. Other solid organs normal, left thoracic drain was fashioned. Rent was closed with interrupted polypropylene with intraabdominal drain. Left leg both bone fracture was done with tibial nailing and left neck of scapula fracture managed conservatively. Abdominal approach is sufficient rather than a thoracoabdominal approach given associated intraabdominal injuries, nowadays minimal access approaches preferred.


Trauma, Emergency medicine, Pneumothorax, Traumatic diaphragmatic hernia

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