Kidney/Ureteral Stones

What are kidney/ureteral stones?

Under normal condition, urine contains many dissolved substances. At times, some materials may become concentrated in the urine, which become crystalized eventually forming small, hard deposits made of mineral and acid salts that form inside your kidneys. These are known as kidney stones that include calcium stones, struvite stones, uric acid stones and cystine stones.

An ureteral stone is a kidney stone that has left the kidney and moved down into the ureter. The stones can be quite painful to pass, but usually cause no permanent damage.

What causes kidney stones?

Although not having a single definite cause, several factors may increase your risk, which include:

  • Diet
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Not taking in enough fluids or losing too much fluid
  • Heredity


Symptoms usually don’t occur with a kidney stone until it moves around within your kidney or passes into your ureter. When this occurs, these signs and symptoms may occur:

  • Sharp, cramping pain in the back and in the side of the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen, which may spread to the groin
  • Blood in the urine
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine

How is a kidney stone diagnosed?

Your health care expert will assess your condition based on your symptoms, medical history and a physical exam to rule out other conditions that might be causing the symptoms.

You may have diagnostic tests and procedures, such as blood and urine tests and imaging tests to confirm clinical diagnosis.


Many factors including stone size, the number of stones and their location help determine the appropriate treatment for a patient with kidney stones, which include:

For small stones with minimal symptoms

  • Drinking water
  • Pain relievers
  • Medical therapy

For large stones and those that cause symptoms

  • Shock Wave Lithotripsy
  • Ureteroscopy
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy
  • Open surgery

Although stone recurrence varies from patient to patient, there’s usually about a 50 percent chance of redeveloping a stone within a five-year period.

For additional questions or concerns, please contact us at (864) 295-2131.