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Treatment of Renal Colic

Updated February 21, 2019

Renal colic is pain caused by the movement of a kidney stone. Treatment varies from forcing liquids and waiting for it to pass, to removal by an endoscopic surgical procedure.

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Pain associated with renal colic causes extreme intermittent pain across the abdomen and may radiate down toward the groin area. According to the Merck Manual Home Edition, other symptoms may include nausea and vomiting.


Diagnosis of renal colic can easily be determined with a CT (computed tomography) to confirm the size and location of the stone. The presence of a kidney stone should be confirmed before treatment begins.


The treatment of renal colic depends greatly on the size and location of the stone. According to medicinenet.com, a 4mm stone has a chance of 80 per cent passage, while a 5mm stone is only 20 per cent likely to pass.

More Treatments

Pushing fluids, along with pain medications, may be all the treatment required for renal colic from small stones. For stones that do not pass, lithotripsy may be used. This is the process of using shock waves to break up the stones for easier passing.


Identifying the type of stone provides options for preventive treatment for future stones. According to Mayo Clinic, the different types of stones include calcium, struvite, uric acid and cystine.

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About the Author

Norene Anderson has been a writer since 2003. She is also a registered nurse with expertise in a wide range of medical conditions and treatments. Anderson received her associate degree in nursing from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.

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