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Muneeb Ali
Muneeb Ali, Emergency Medicine
Category: Urology
Satisfied Customers: 3121
Experience:  MBBS,MD,ECFMG certified. Have dealt with urological emergencies in the ER on a regular basis
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33/M here. I've been having lower back pain for about 3-4

Customer Question

33/M here. I've been having lower back pain for about 3-4 weeks. The pain on a scale of 1-10 has generally been a 2 or 3. Friday I started having sharper pain on the left side under my ribs and ran a 99.9 temp. The temp has gone away and the pain is in my back area again not anymore sever than in prior. My dr ordered an ultrasound which revealed a 5mm left inferior renal stone in my left kidney. I've been told to wait and see what happens.
I'm getting conflicting messages on the internet about the ability to pass a 5mm stone. What is your opinion? Is there anything I can do to have it pass quicker? Starting on 9/20 I'm traveling for 3 weeks and am concerned about this passing while I am away purely because of what I've read about pain, the need for an ER, etc. My scan also revealed gallstones but I'm told those are harmless and are generally left alone until symptoms occur. Please advise.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Urology
Expert:  Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. My name is***** I am reviewing your question and will get back to you with an answer ASAP!!

Expert:  Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Well from what you are describing, a 5 mm stone in most cases would be able to pass on its own, its when the size exceeds 5 mm that intervention is usually needed to get it out of the urinary system. Now you do have pain in the region which is consistent with the stone being present in the region and it is also possible that you had more stones which you have already passed and that is why you had the pain in the back. Usually pain occurs on passage of stones or on contraction of the ureters due to the movement of the stones. Now i would AGREE with your doctor that a watch and wait approach is the best one here, in most cases this would resolve on its own however if the pain worsens over the course of the next 3-4 days or you have blood in your urine or cloudy urine then you would need intervention. This would be in the form of sonic waves to reakdown the stone and the pieces would easily pass out through your urinary tract.

Now the best method to help in passage of the stones is to increase your intake of water, prevent dehdydration and also cut back on calcium containing diet and oxalic acid rich foods like spinach etc. This would help in passage of the stone more quickly.

Do you have any more questions?

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
How long do I wait if I'm just having the back pain I described with no improvement?
Expert:  Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

24-48 hours, less if you dont respond to the painkillers. If with the use of painkillers, your pain is actually worsening then you may need earlier intervention than planned. A pain of 2-3 usually should respond to painkillers and if it doesnt then the sonic therapy can be planned.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
OK, thanks. My dr did not give me painkillers but told me to take Advil.
Expert:  Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Actually advil, motrin or aleve work better than narcotic painkillers in this type of pain. So you should use those.

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Expert:  Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Would you to know anything else? If done for now, please remember to leave a positive rating as that is the only way we are compensated for our time spent helping you. You can continue to ask follow-up questions even after the rating.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Does the back pain signal that the stone is moving? And if the ultrasound on yesterday showed a stone in my kidney does that mean the back pain I had before was a stone moving?
Expert:  Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Pain usually occurs with movement of the stone so it is possible that the pain was due to a stone moving before the ultrasound. But the pain can also occur with a stone being stationary.

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