What you would experience with the failure of one kidney is related to the cause of that afailure. If a blood clot blocked the artery to the kidney or a stone prevented the urine from reaching your bladder, then you would most likely have pain on that side in the back. If the kidney was slowly damaged, say by long standing obstruction or high blood pressure, then you probably would not have any symptoms as long as your other kidney was working well. In most situations where there is one good kidney, it can handle the extra work without giving you any sign that it is doing so. The blood coursing through the non-functioning kidney does not cause any problems.
Of course, if both kidneys are damaged, then you may start feeling quite ill, note a decrease in the amount of urine that you are making, but still not have any specific symptom such as pain to let you know what is happening.
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