Kidney Disease & Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Small Stones in Both Kidneys Causing Pain

I am a 40yr old woman w/ a 16 year history of kidney stones.  Have had multiple 24/48 hr studies to determine the type of stones.  I follow a low oxilate diet and take Urocit 3X daily.  Typically I pass a few stones a year without problem.  I have had a right nephrostomy 16 years ago due to complications with a blocked kidney during pregnancy.  Tube stayed in place for the last several months of pregnancy and a month afterwards.  Since then have had multiple cycstoscopic stone removal surgeries.  Last year EWSL was attempted 3X to remove small, stubborn stones in my right kidney.  Stones were not blocking the ureter but were causing pain for months.  After 3rd attempt at EWSL it was decided to try laser treatment cystoscopically.  This was "partially" successful.  Some of the stones were removed, some he was not able to reach.  I was left with a stint which came out before I made it home from the hospital.  Was rushed back in for emergency surgery at 11pm to place the stint back in as my kidney had shut down due to the ureter being completely blocked from swelling following that surgery.  I remained hospitalized 3 days w/ infection.  Since that time I have had continued pain intermittently in the right side but not enough to take pain medication other than OTC such as tylenol / ibuprofen.  Three months ago I was on the floor with severe pain followed by a trip to the ER... blood in urine...  CT shows small stones in both kidneys but nothing blocking ureters.  Pain has been manageable until recently with OTC medications.  I requested non-narcotic pain med last month to help with pain control as the pain has become more steady.  He prescribed Tramadol.  The past week it has gotten to the point that the pain is non-stop, steady, dull, ache accompanied by sometimes sharp pain and nausea in waves.  I know my body and don't feel anything is blocked.  The pain is distinctly in my kidney still.  Dr. has said now that he would like to refer me to a Pain Clinic.  ???  Can't something else be done besides long term pain medication?  I don't want to take drugs.  Is there a procedure to get rid of these small stones that are persistent but not blocking the ureters?  They've been in there for months.  I have a job that requires me to be very sharp and focused.  Pain meds aren't an option for me.  
11 Responses
Avatar universal
I was doing a search online for multiple kidney stones in both kidneys and came across your posting.  I'm a 26 year old female with a family history of kidney stones.  In Jan 09, I experienced a dull aching pain in my side that lasted for a couple weeks and then went away.  I experienced something similar in late Feb 09 and after a week of this pain, I went to the clinic (I'm in the military).  The dr couldn't find anything wrong and said I must ahve pulled an abdominal muscle.  However, since I mentioned my dad has had over 40 stones in his life, he sent me for an x-ray.  (I doubted it was this as the pain I was feeling was not like the excrutiating pain I'd seen my dad in.)  The x-ray showed "something" so I was sent for a ct scan, which showed multiple stones in both kidneys including one in the bladder.  I went back a week later because I was feeling a constant urge to pee, and I was disagnosed with a UTI and given meds, although this did not make the pain totally go away,  I ended up passing a stone (which was 6mm) a few days later.  It was a calcium oxalate stone.  2 and a half weeks ago, I didn't have any kidney pain, but felt the constant urge to urinate again, followed by the side pain (which confused me because the symptoms were in reverse order than the last time I passed a stone).  However, after a week of constant dull (sometimes sharper) pain in my left side that made me feel constantly nauseous, I went to the clinic where I found out I had another infection (with a low-grade fever) and likely another stone.  I passed 2 stones a day later (last Saturday); they were a lot smaller than my other one (only 1.5 and 2mm).  However, unlike when I passed my first stone in Feb, the pain I felt in my kidney did not immediately go away.  I still have that dull ache, which comes and goes.  I went for a run yesterday for the first time in a week and felt cramping like pain in my right kidney area that subsided a few hours later.  I had a ct scan done a few days ago and was told I currently have 6 stones in my kidneys greater than 2mm but that they aren't blocking anything and my ureters aren't swollen so I shouldn't be in any pain.  However, I still have this dull pain that comes and goes that is in my kidney area on both sides.  It's not excrutiating pain, but I do sometimes take a motrin for it.  I'm so confused about what it wrong with me.  According to the dr., the stones in my kidneys should not be causing any pain, but I can't deny the fact that I have this pain that comes and goes... I know you probably don;t have any answers as you have your own questions about similar matters; I just felt compelled to leave you a message because your situation seemed a little similar to mine.  If you'd like to email me, my email is k_m_m_2001@yahoo,com (please put Kidney Stones in the title so I know it's not junk mail).

483623 tn?1256097169
DOCTORS are smart, but when they dont experience the pain for themselves and it doesnt follow the text book, sometimes they just dont get it!!!  I too have recurring kidney stones, The last one I had was in the left kidney and was non obstructing,so Doc left it alone. That was 8 months ago.  I dont even know if  I passed it or if its still there.  The reason for this is because BOTH my kidneys ache dully on and off from time to time and I get some sharp stabs as well from time to time.  Been this way for years... soooo if your kidney hurts , it hurts!!! its your body!  And since you have a history of stones, its not surprising.  lately my other  (right kidney has been hurting more)  I think Im gonna call the Dr on Tues because For some reason I still dont know what Type of stone I form.  My Doctor has never given me a strainer or anything and Im gonna ask him about that as well.  I would like to know what type of diet to follow and its easier knowing what kind of stone you have..
489228 tn?1291535054
I have suffered along with all of you for years also, however I have a condition called Medullary Sponge Kidney disease.  This cause both of my kidneys to be full of small stones too.  We have an MSK support group here on Medhelp and though you all may or may not have MSK, (I was born with it, had stones since I was 19 but only diagnosed in 03'), still the cause of this chronic pain is very likely to be the same that many of us suffer from.

I would encourage you to join our support group, read through the older post, most of the time this pain issue is the central conversation tool and also read the great info in the health pages.

Here is the link to our support group here:

Here also is a link to an article i put together on the pain issues:

I hope this helps each of you!  Just know your not alone, your pain is real and there are answers!  It is our goal together to make a difference!!

Avatar universal
I, too, have chronic pain in my right kidney.  I have had a KUB that has detected approximately 8 stones in my left kidney and 14 stones in my right.  I even had lithotripsy on a 7 mm stone on the left.  I continue to have the pain on the right.  My doctor says that I should not be having this pain because none of the stones are big enough (all 3-5 mm) to block anything.  However, still the pain.  He has prescribed Vicodin, which helps a little, but I am beginning to feel a little like a druggie.  Wish something could be diagnosed so maybe treatment would be possible.  Maybe the post above will be helpful to me.  Thanks...
1474313 tn?1287013123
my name is nina i am also having cronic pain in my back across the middle of it as well as pain in both sides sometimes i have sharp stabing pain in my right side of my abdomin but i have been to the er numerous times as well as seeing my dr. alot over kidney stones i in june only had 1 stone then a month later was found to have 3 stones and this week another ct scan was done now i have 5 i have 3 small stones in my right kidney and two tiny ones in my left but this has been like this and getting worst for five months now... all the dr.s i have seen even one urologist has told me all the pain im having is not from the kidney stones except my regular dr. whom i am now seeing as my regular dr for just a month or so he is the only one that tells me my pain is all in my kidneys he strongly believes my pain is from the stones but none of them are obstructing..... i am very confused and in a lot of pain.... my other problems is that i also have a kidney infection and now im forming gallstones.... what does all this mean for me??? im so sick of being in pain oh i almost for got i also have a large appendix i was told a month and a half ago they didnt know if mine is just large or if im having problems with it too.... its normal but the high range of normal its over 7.0 mm, now.... a month and a half ago the er dr.s said it was just below 7.0 mm so does this mean im having problems with it????
Avatar universal
hi everyone im am a 14 yearold teenage girl that for the last 2months has had non stop dull ache to sharp pains in my left and right kidney i was taken to hospital for 10 days because my specialist wanted to anylise me with the renal team (i should mention i have renal tubular acidosis and take uricoit which is potassium citrate i was dignosed when i was 6 months old and on the verge of dying) i hav had 4 ultrasounds 1 ctscan and 1 m cat scan it had shown up that i have over a dozen small stones in both left and right side of the kidney they then put me on endone ,tremadol,terazin which all did not work i had low blood pressure couldnt walk and tongue swelled up therefore i have come back home and refered me to the pain team .The pain team doesnt really help its just stratergies of how to help you cope with your pain and on monday i am going to see the uroloigist to see what she has to say but the specialist think that surgery is very risky and invasive because they are in the kidney i now have to wait till the new year i  havent being to school for 2 months and i now have to spend christmas and new years in such agnising pain if anyone has any suggestions that would be wonderful xx
Avatar universal
I am 41 and have suffered this same pain for the last several years. I found this site in a google search. My Dr keeps telling me that stones that are not blocking or trying to pas uretors at the moment SHOULD NOT HURT. WRONG!  

My uretors on every CT are very inflammed, which led Dr to do laproscopc exploration, he chose not continue procedure and get the stones out (my stones ae 4mmm, 8mm, and many smaler stones on both sides) much to my dismay. I get pain on both sides that is often worse in the morning, Pain lasts from hours to numerous days. Yet never a pain that feels like trying to go through uretors. Front doesnt hurt. Bladder doesnt hurt. (unless infected). VERY inflammed feeling in kidney area that radiates often all the way to my lower shoulder blades.

I also wanted to mention that I have Stage 2 Kidney Disease (which im told SHOULD NOT HURT, and a neurogenic bladder causing me to have to self-cath since age 11.

Luckily I change Dr's in January. I see new nephrologist and urologist then. The holidays, will also be a painful few weeks for me RoxieGirl. Good luck at urolgist Monday. All my current Dr's do is give me Vicodin, which I already use for back and leg pain from my spina bifida. So glad to hear others have same problem but wish none of us did!

Avatar universal
The most noticeable symptom if you have renal failure is a change in your urine or urination pattern. Some people may find their urine darker than usual or foamy than usual (cloudy). There are some patients who also find blood in their urine. In several cases, there are changes in terms of the frequency in urination. Either people experience more frequency or lesser frequency of urinating. Urine can also be in greater or in lesser amounts than usual. Worse, there is a burning sensation or pain when urinating.Again Most people with pyelonephritis experience severe pain in the lower area of their back – below the rib cage and above the hips. When kidneys are infected, they become swollen and this results to kidney pain.
kidney stones women suffer a lot as like birth pain .it has few natural way to dessolve.
963889 tn?1359680934
DONT TAKE IBUPROFEN!!!!!!!!!  if you have had a long hisotry of kidney stones you are highly likely to have scarring!  you must get your kidney finction monitored regularly by checking egfr. ibuprofen is kidney suicide so I have heard. anyone else out there been told that???? I am I misleading her here?
Avatar universal
Yes Ibuprofen is not good.  My mother had a stent in for about 9 months.  After the, i think, 5th doctor she saw is when we were informed about the Ibuprofen.  
3202069 tn?1345408082
I have interstitial cystitis of my bladder. I have been having alot of pain in my back and saw all the posts about kidney stones. One of my main concerns is that the reason I have the bladder condition is because of taking antibiotics for a long period of time causes the yeast candida albican the good yeast to overgrow causing it to fight against the bladder wall which eats out the lining causing Interstial cysitis. This means that the wall causing all types of infections to be more easily caught and severe pain. I have had 3 bladder stretches and it causes a leaky bladder. There is no cure for it. Take cranberry capsules and drink lots of water. Also my husbands doctor told him that eating alot of chicken causes stones. Apple juice is supposed to help disolve stones. I would recommend going the more natural way by using Cranberry, apple and lots of water. I can't even drink soda's because it agitates the lining of my bladder. Oh and Lots of Prayer. I go to a pain center for the pain. Hope this helps some.
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