Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract, with about a million people in the United States treated for kidney stones each year. A kidney stone forms from the crystallization of excreted substances from urine. The stone may remain in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract. A small stone may pass out of the body, but a larger stone can get stuck in the ureter, bladder or the urethra in an attempt to pass. If the stone stops the flow of urine, it can cause great pain.
There are different kinds of stones based on the different substances that create them: calcium stones, (the most common kind of stones), struvite stones, uric acid stones, and cysteine stones (the rarest kind of stones).
Symptoms can include: extreme pain in the back or side, nausea and vomiting, cloudy or odiferous urine, frequent urination, burning feeling during urination, and fever and chills. If you suspect you have kidney stones, you need to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Blood tests, urinalysis, ultrasound and other tests may be used to diagnose the exact kind and location of the stones. Small stones that can pass on their own may only require pain medication. Other treatments include shock wave therapy (using sound waves to break up the stones), removal with a ureteroscope, or tunnel surgical removal.Previous Page Last Review Date: January 5, 2018