Closing the gap for patients with rectus abdominis diastasis
RECTUS ABDOMINIS DIASTASIS (RAD), also known as diastasis recti, divarication of the rectus abdominis, and abdominal muscle separation, is a common disorder that usually manifests in women following pregnancy but can also occur following abdominal surgery.1 It's characterized by a widening or separation of the two rectus abdominis muscles along the linea alba.2 (See Focusing on the anatomy.) The reported prevalence of RAD following pregnancy ranges from 35% to 100%.3
RAD is sometimes confused with an abdominal wall hernia because it's associated with an abdominal bulge. The differentiating feature is that RAD has no fascial defect and, therefore, is at very low risk of incarceration or strangulation.1 This discussion focuses on the etiology, diagnosis, and management of RAD.