Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Stone in the Kidney Underlying Cause

Kidney stones form when minerals, such as calcium, form small crystals in the urine. Crystals bind together and form stones, like an oyster forms a pearl from a grain of sand. When a stone becomes dislodged from the kidney, it may become stuck in the ureter, which obstructs the flow of urine. This causes urine to back up into the kidney and the kidney becomes swollen, which causes pain. The most common type of kidney stone is made from calcium and oxalate.

Additional types of types of kidney stones include:

  • Uric acid kidney stones
  • Cystine kidney stones
  • Struvite kidney stones

Continue to Stone in the Kidney Anatomy

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Stone in the Kidney References
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  2. Pietrow PK, Karellas ME. Medical management of common urinary calculi. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Jul 1;74(1):86-94. [16848382]
  3. Portis AJ, Sundaram CP. Diagnosis and initial management of kidney stones. Am Fam Physician. 2001 Apr 1;63(7):1329-38. [11310648]
  4. Rao PN. Imaging for kidney stones. World J Urol. 2004 Nov;22(5):323-7. [15290203]
  5. Taylor EN, Stampfer MJ, Curhan GC. Obesity, weight gain, and the risk of kidney stones. JAMA. 2005 Jan 26;293(4):455-62. [15671430]
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