Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a tear or ulcer in the lining of the anal canal (inside the anus) leading to spasm of the internal anal sphincter muscle. Symptoms include a sharp or burning pain, particularly when visiting the toilet and blood on the toilet paper. It usually results from the trauma of passing a hard stool although it can be associated with other conditions of the bowel. There are two types: an acute fissure in which symptoms settle within six weeks with simple painkillers and laxatives; and a chronic fissure in which symptoms persist for more than six weeks. Treatment for chronic fissures are directed at relieving the sphincter muscle spasm and include special anal creams, botulinum toxin muscle injection or surgery.