Kidney Stones are a Common Problem
Many people who are diagnosed with kidney stones (renal calculi) have no symptoms. Others will have pain, but will eventually pass their stone. A smaller percentage will need surgery to remove their stone.
Kidney Stones – What Are They?
Kidney stones are crystal structures that form in the kidney. They do not tend to cause symptoms if they sit and grow in the kidney. Symptoms and pain occur when the stone falls into the ureter and causes a blockage to the kidney. It is impossible to predict when or if a stone will cause problems. Once a stone has fallen into the ureter, the likelihood of passage of that stone (without the need for surgery), is determined by size and at which point in the ureter the stone is stuck. The larger the stone, the less likely it is that it will pass without treatment. The higher the stone is caught in the ureter, the less likely it is to pass without treatment. Multiple stones are also less likely to pass. If you have signs of an infection your doctor will be more inclined to intervene, rather than letting an infection worsen. If you have only one kidney, your doctor will also tend to suggest treatment.