What is an anal fissure?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: Bruce M Lo, MD, MBA, CPE, RDMS, FACEP, FAAEM, FACHE; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

An anal fissure is a superficial linear tear in the anoderm that is distal to the dentate line. Anal fissures are often associated with local trauma such as the passage of hard stools or anal trauma, but can also be due to secondary causes such as inflammatory bowel disease. Anal fissures are among the most common anorectal disorders in the pediatric population. Adults are also affected, although it is thought to be underreported in the adult population.

Fissures are defined as acute if present for less than 8 weeks, and they are defined as chronic if present for more than at 8-12 weeks weeks. [1]


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