A splenic rupture is a tear or split in the spleen. The spleen is an organ that helps filter the blood. It also makes white blood cells that make proteins to fight infection. This problem can lead to bleeding inside the body

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Trauma is a common cause of a splenic rupture. Spleen tissue may also be harmed if there is abnormal tissue growth or infection.

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:

  • Inflammatory health problems, such as pancreatitis
  • Certain therapies and medicines, such as blood thinners


Problems may be:

  • Left shoulder pain
  • Belly pain


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

Pictures may need to be taken. This can be done with:


Treatment will depend on how badly the spleen has ruptured. The goal is to keep all or part of the spleen. Options are:

  • Monitoring an injury for signs of healing
  • Surgery to:
    • Repair the spleen
    • Remove all or part of the spleen


There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.


Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians

Trauma Association of America


Health Canada

Trauma Association of Canada


El-Matbouly M, Jabbour G, et al. Blunt splenic trauma: Assessment, management and outcomes. Surgeon 2016. Feb;14(1):52-58.

Splenic injury. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Accessed October 30, 2020.

Splenic injury. University of Connecticut website. Available at: Accessed October 30, 2020.

Splenic injury and rupture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed October 30, 2020.

Splenic trauma. website. Available at: Accessed October 30, 2020.

Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD