Diaphragmatic, lumbar, and extra-thoracic hernias are well-described complications of blunt trauma. However, in the absence of an immediate indication for surgery in the injured patient, early recognition of these hernias can be a diagnostic challenge and delayed presentation is common. Upon diagnosis, surgical repair is necessary secondary to the high morbidity and mortality associated with herniation and strangulation of abdominal organs. Surgical treatment of these hernias is evolving and a variety of options are available to the surgeon. This article will provide a historical overview of post-traumatic diaphragmatic and multi-cavity hernias, and a review of the literature addressing key issues of diagnosis and management.
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