A volvulus occurs when part of the colon or intestine twists. The twisting causes bowel obstructions that may cut off the blood supply to areas of the bowels.

A volvulus is a medical emergency, if left untreated, the parts of the bowels that are not receiving enough blood will start to die.

Volvulus of the small intestine usually occurs in infants and children. In adults, volvulus of the small intestine is rare. In adults, volvulus tends to occur in the colon and is known as a sigmoid volvulus.


The symptoms of volvulus appear suddenly and severely, so people usually go straight to the emergency room for prompt evaluation.


  • abdominal pain and tenderness
  • vomiting green bile
  • nausea
  • distended abdomen
  • bloody stool
  • constipation
  • shock
  • Infants with volvulus may also exhibit additional signs and symptoms, including:
  • sudden bouts of crying
  • drawing in legs as if in pain
  • lethargy
  • rapid heart rate and breathing.


In infants, volvulus of the small intestine often occurs due to malrotation. Malrotation occurs when a problem with the way the intestines form causes them to settle in the wrong place in the abdomen. This can cause the intestines to twist or become blocked.

In adults, causes of a sigmoid volvulus include:

  • an enlarged colon
  • abdominal adhesions that develop after surgery, injury, or infection
  • diseases of the large intestine, such as Hirschsprung’s disease
  • a colon that is not attached to the abdominal wall
  • a narrow connection at the base of the colon
  • chronic constipation
  • pregnancy
  • Additional risk factors for sigmoid volvulus include:
  • being male
  • being over 60
  • living in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Volvulus usually occurs due to another underlying condition or physical problem. However, it can sometimes occur on its own.


The medicines that can be thought of use are: -

  • Podophyllum
  • Belladonna
  • Nat sulph
  • Nat carb
  • Phosphorus