Kidney Stones Home > About Kidney Stones

One of the most common disorders of the urinary tract, kidney stones develop when crystals in the urine clump together instead of passing through the body. Kidney stones vary in size; some may be as small as a grain of sand, while others can be as large as a golf ball. Many people with kidney stones have no symptoms. Extreme pain, which occurs when a stone acutely blocks the flow of urine, is often the first symptom a person will experience.
Most kidney stones will pass out of the body on their own; however, problem stones may require removal procedures such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy.
(Click Kidney Stones to learn more about what causes them, possible symptoms, and treatment options.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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