Traumatic abdominal wall hernia

Traumatic abdominal wall hernia (TAWH) represents traumatic disruption of musculature and fascia of anterior abdominal wall without skin penetration.

Traumatic abdominal wall hernia (TAWH) is caused by blunt trauma to the abdomen.

In adults, it usually results from road traffic accidents (RTA) while in children it occurs following an injury from the bicycle handle bar. 

Sudden increase in intraabdominal pressure with direct impact resulting in abdominal wall disruption (insufficient to penetrate skin but strong enough to disrupt muscle and fascia).

No evidence of a prior hernia defect at the site of injury.

Bowel, mesenteric, pancreatic and other visceral injuries are very common

Abdominal skin ecchymosis or abrasions.

Disruption of all layers of muscle and fascia yet elastic skin layer remains intact.


  • region of iliac crest in seat belt injury (site of lap and shoulder strap junction)
  • focal, lower abdomen, lateral to the rectus sheath, inguinal region
  • larger diffuse abdominal wall defects sustained in motor car accidents
  • Rarely in retroperitoneum


  • may vary from small to large tears

Other types of abdominal wall hernia

Share article

Article information

rID: 51344
Section: Pathology
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • TAWH
  • Abdominal wall traumatic hernia

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Case 1: traumatic abdominal wall hernia
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.