Anal fissures are small tears in the lining of the rectal opening. A fissure can occur at any time, but many patients indicate that they have had episodes of constipation prior to fissures occurring. A few patients point out that they developed the fissure after having loose stools.
Fissures are usually superficial (near the skin’s surface) and sometimes they can even be difficult for the doctor. Chronic fissures can be deeper, sometimes reaching down to the sphincter muscle. Many patients with a fissure have a tight anal canal and several of the treatments are aimed at correcting this circumstance.