Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

" Why did my left kidney start hurting when I woke up today?"

ZocdocAnswers Why did my left kidney start hurting when I woke up today?


A little over a year ago I was in a car accident and I bruised my ribs, kidney, liver. Now every now then there will be slight pain in that area, and today I woke up with that same feeling in the same area.


Thanks for your question. There are a few possible answers, so please speak with your doctor. The most concerning would be that there could be some problem with your kidneys or other body parts in that area. Trauma can cause scarring, changes in anatomy, and obstructions that would not otherwise be a problem for other people. Most of the time, imaging or other lab work can help to determine whether or not there is something that needs to be corrected or treated. In addition to your kidneys, your spleen lies near that part of your body, and can sometimes become tender or damaged in trauma. In addition to causing local anatomic changes, some of these changes can pre dispose people to infections due to changes in anatomy. Sometimes, serious urinary tract infections can present with pain in the region of the kidneys. If you are having other symptoms or signs of an infection, this would be a more likely possibility. In some cases, chronic pain that does not have an obvious cause after a complete and thorough evaluation is determined to be due to changes in nerves that has happened because of the trauma, similar to an old injury that can lead to intermittent or chronic pain. Please speak with your doctor about this question.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.