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Avatar universal

Chronic left flank pain with non obstructive kidney stones

I've had recurrent kidney stones (2 times) in the last 9 months that required ureterscopes and stints to be placed six seperate times.  Shortly after the last procedure, I began to have left sided flank pain just like before.  A subsequent CT scan revealed I had 2 additionall ( 2mm non-obstructing) stones in my right kidney and a cluster of at least (four 2-3 mm stones in my left kidney).  They were also non-obstructive.  I've been told by a couple of doctors and urologists that they cannot be the cause of my pain, even though the pain feels just like when I had obsturctive ones.  I can also feel the damn things moving around and it causes me to have kidney spasms.  I've discussed having them just do lithotrypsy on my kidneys to break them up so I can pass them and be rid of them but they all say it's not necessary.  I'm obviously extremely frustrated and in pain (even though, according to the docs i shouldn't be).  Has anyone had a similiar experience and if so, what did they do for you.  Thanks for any advice you can give me.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
yes i have 14 stones 2mm and 3mm and they sure move but to small to break ct says non obstructing stones  i guess i have to find away to deal with this
1310633 tn?1430227691
I'm told the same thing all the time, by my Urologist... the small stone within the kidney shouldn't cause pain.

I have numerous stones that I pass, on a regular basis, but there are also numerous small stones that are still IN my kidney's that I'm told shouldn't be the cause of any pain (as there are no pain receptors actually INSIDE the kidney). I can feel them moving, and they DO cause pain, trust me.

What I've come to find out, is that the small stones in the kidney may cause local blockages within the lobe of the kidney where they reside. These blockages ebb & flow as the stone moves and blocks/unblocks the lobe, and the mini-blockage subsequently causes flank pain.

Unfortunately, your Urologist is accurate in that the size of the stone(s) dictate whether or not your an ESWL candidate. Too small a stone, and they can't focus the shock-wave "beam" accurately enough to hit it. I'm not a candidate for ESWL at all, so count yourself lucky that it's even an option for you when/if your stone(s) get big enough to become viable targets.

As for what they "do" for me... that's a bit comical.  Pain-meds, pain-meds and more pain-meds is about all that can be done, besides drinking a ton of water and just trying to flush them out, which presents another type of pain altogether (ureteral stone passage pain).

Good luck to you.
489228 tn?1291535054
We have a forum for medullary sponge kidney disease patients.  One of the classic
problems, MSK patients have is recurrent infections and renal calculi or stones.  Many of us also have chronic pain and are told the same thing, but I personally have spoken to 100's of patients with this chronic pain.  We have a theory that is now being proven in medical research.  It appears that kidney stones can actually harbor bacteria that set up biofilm infections.  These infection are low level bacteria and stay with in the kidney so
only slough off in small numbers in the urine, there for they do not show up on standard UA or cultures etc.  Our culture systems are set up to find acute not chronic uti's

Here is the link to our forum that might shed some light on your pain issues etc.
You can also pm me for some articles and links that might help you as well.


Here is the link to an article on this forum



I hope that helps!
Avatar universal
Unfortunately I've been going through the same thing and the only thing doctors are telling me is that my stones aren't causing me pain and sending me to another doctor to have them tell me the same thing. I went through a similar situation last year. I had chronic pain and kept going to see my primary doctor. He thought I might have gullstones so he did an ultrasound which showed nothing. So he sent me to a stomach specialist. The specialist did more tests, all coming back normal. I ended up in the emergency room later that year and was told I had a cyst on my kidney and that I should follow up with my primary doctor. So, I did and they ended up finding kidney stones, sending me to a urologist and I had lithotripsy shortly after. This went on from March '12 to November '12 when I finally had the lithotripsy. I have been having pain for about a month and a half now. I went to my urologist to check for more stones. They are telling me that I have one in my right (5 mm) and one in my left (2 mm), but that because they aren't obstructed that they aren't the cause of my pain. So my urologist sent me to my primary doctor, who told me the same thing, and sent me to my OBGYN. I cancelled the appointment with my OBGYN because I know it's a waste of my time and money. This process ***** and has cost me a ton of unnecessary medical bills. I truly feel for you and wish you the best!
Avatar universal
I am in the same boat and the doctor told me it may be plain old "back pain". I disagree since, as I'm sure you know too, the pain and the "stabbing" that occurs under that lower rib is NOT mistakable to anyone who knows the feeling. I had a stent in place 2 months ago and started feeling on and off sharp pain in my left side...over a course of about 2 weeks and after keeling a few times, I finally went to the ER where they refused to give me anything for the pain I was in, claiming that because there was no blood in my urine, they did not know for sure, what was causing pain. The very next day my urologist had a CT ordered which revealed 4 small non-obstructing stones among both kidneys... and told me he did not believe they were causing the pain. I know they are.... I too, can practically feel them twisting and turning in there... It does NOT feel like no muscle ache, it feels like needles in my side... I think more awareness needs to be brought to the attention of doctors who work off of their reading material vs actually listening to the ones suffering from such things.
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