Kidney Stone Size
Experience and studies have show kidney stone size does not
necessarily correlate with intensity of pain. Small stones, 4mm or
less, will most likely pass on their own. Those larger than 4mm are
more likely to get "stuck" in the
and require some form of medical intervention, either
extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy
ureteroscopic stone removal.
If the stone is still in the kidney, ESWL (Extra corporeal Shock wave
Lithotripsy) would most likely be incorporated. If is stuck in the
ureter, ureteroscopic stone removal would be the most likely treatment.
Since ureters measure from 2mm-5mm in diameter, it doesn't take a
very large stone to cause irritation and pain. As the smooth muscles of
the ureters start to spasm in order to move the stone down to the
bladder, renal colic ensues causing the extreme pain associated with
Renal colic is one of the six most painful ordeals suffered by
human beings. Heart attack, angleclosure glaucoma, facial nerve pain
(tic douloureux), childbirth and gallbladder stones round out the list.
Many consider renal colic the most painful. (No More Kidney Stones, Dr.
John S. Rodman, M.D.)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) are useful in
alleviating pain associated with renal colic but may not be enough to
mask the pain. Opiods may be required to bring comfort during the
passing of a kidney stone. A Doctor's prescription is required for these
stronger medications and should be used with caution as they can be
effective but potentially addictive.
Don't be fooled! Stones as small as a grain of sand can cause extreme
World's Largest Kidney Stone
The world's largest kidney stone on record was removed from an
Australian man, measuring 4.66 inches (11.86 cm) and weighing 12.5 oz.
Return from Kidney Stone Size to Kidney Stone 911 Homepage
Passing a Kidney Stone
Staghorn Kidney Stone
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