Impaction, from the Latin "impingere", is a medical term used to describe several different types of blockage.

In Reptiles

Impaction occurs in reptiles when they consume something that they cannot digest. Common causes of impaction are rocks and sand which might be accidentally consumed when the reptile attacks its prey. Once the substance is ingested it will block the digestive tract and, if untreated, cause death.


Some symptoms include a lack of appetite or lethargy. On many animals a large blue seemingly bruised spot will be visible in the abdomen; however, this only shows through if the skin on the animal is clear enough to see the lower internal organs. [ The Reptile Rooms :: Bearded Dragons, other Lizards, Snakes, Turtles and more! ] ]


Common treatments involve placing the animal in a lukewarm bath and gently rubbing the area under the impaction to help the passing of the consumed substance. If this fails, the animal must have an enema. ]

In Horses

An impaction may be a cause of colic, see horse colic.

In Humans

In relation to Digestion

Impaction is a pathological condition in humans when an impassable mass of stone-like faecal matter collects in the rectum. It frequently occurs as a result of dehydration, inactivity, and medications, such as narcotics or psychotropicagents, which slow the peristalsis, and increase the time that the colonic mucosa will extract moisture from the faecal bolus. [ MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Fecal impaction ] ]


Treatment involves attempts at moving the impaction by enema and, failing that, breaking up the impaction transrectally by using a (gloved) finger, pressing the mass against the coccyx to fracture it into smaller pieces. Proceeding this, A follow-up enema is usually required in addition to proper ongoing hydration, bulk in the diet, exercise and review of all medications to discontinue all those responsible is important to prevent recurrence. [ MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Fecal impaction ] ]

Impaction is also used, in conjunction with filtration, to remove large dust particles and other foreign objects as they enter the body through the nose.

Dental Impaction

:"See also: Wisdom teeth"

Informal Definition

Dental impactions are often known to occur when there is not enough room in the jaw for new molar teeth to erupt properly. This can lead to a variety of dental problems, including cysts. There are several types of dental impaction [ Wisdom teeth removal, extraction - symptoms, pain & complications ] ]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Impaction — Im*pac tion, n. [L. impactio a striking : cf. F. impaction.] 1. (Surg.) The driving of one fragment of bone into another so that the fragments are not movable upon each other; as, impaction of the skull or of the hip. [1913 Webster] 2. An… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • impaction — ⇒IMPACTION, subst. fém. A. MÉD. Rupture d un os avec déviation. (Dict. XIXe et XXe s.). B. CHIR. Action d appliquer fortement deux fragments osseux d une fracture l un contre l autre (notamment dans les fractures du col du fémur). Pratiquer une… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • impaction — (n.) 1739, from L. impactionem (nom. impactio) a striking against, noun of action from pp. stem of impingere (see IMPINGE (Cf. impinge)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Impaction — Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Impaction », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) L impaction est un colmatage des viscères par une quantité trop importante de cellulose non digérée. Ainsi chez le bovin une ration trop …   Wikipédia en Français

  • impaction — /im pak sheuhn/, n. 1. an act or instance of impacting. 2. the state of being impacted; close fixation. 3. Dentistry. the condition in which a tooth is impacted. [1730 40; < LL impaction (s. of impactio), equiv. to L impact(us), ptp. of impingere …   Universalium

  • impaction fracture — n a fracture that is impacted …   Medical dictionary

  • impaction — noun Date: 1739 the act of becoming or the state of being impacted; especially lodgment of something (as feces) in a body passage or cavity …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • impaction — noun a) compression; the packing together of loose matter b) something packed together tightly; a mass of densely packed matter …   Wiktionary

  • impaction — The process or condition of being impacted. dental i. confinement of a tooth in the alveolus and prevention of its eruption into normal position. SEE ALSO: impacted tooth …   Medical dictionary

  • impaction — (in pa ksion) s. f. Terme de chirurgie. Fracture du crâne, d une côte, du sternum, en plusieurs pièces, dont les unes font saillie en dedans et les autres en dehors. ÉTYMOLOGIE    Lat. impactionem, choc, de impactum, supin de impingere, choquer,… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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