Flank pain and kidney stones
Kidney stones are a common presentation to the emergency department and GPs. Usually it is felt as a dull pain on one side of the lower back. If it falls into the ureter (the fine tube that drains urine from the kidney to the bladder) very severe pain that radiates into the groin, testes or labia can be experienced. It is a colic as the pain comes in waves and often patients cannot “get comfortable” and are restless or agitated. It is often associated with nausea and vomiting.
The diagnosis is usually made on imaging with a CTKUB and KUB x-ray, where the stone in the kidney or ureter is demonstrated. Often there is microscopic blood in the urine (haematuria).
If you have an associated infection or kidney function impairment on a blood test, you will usually be admitted for emergency treatment with a ureteric stent or percutaneous nephrostomy