Ask Why do I still have pain after passing a stone?

In our “Ask” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. See previous questions and answers here.


January 13, 2012.

Question about residual pain after passing a stone from a stone former in England, UK:

” I am 61 years old and have never had a kidney stone before last Saturday (almost 1 week ago). I was hit with sudden, excruciating pain in my kidney area. I went to hospital and was treated with pain meds and kept in over night. The pain was so bad that I thought I would pass out with it. The following day the pain had subsided and I had a full bladder CT scan (no medium used). The scan showed a swelling below the kidney, indicating that I had had a stone but that it had passed. The doctor could not see any sign of any more stones although the CT scan had not yet been reported by a radiologist. The problem is that I seem to have some dull pain still around the same kidney and fear it being another stone. I wonder if there would be some residual pain after passing a stone for a week or so? Or could it be more trouble?”


The experience that you described is consistent with a stone episode and although a stone was not seen on your CT scan, it is not uncommon for patients to have already passed a stone by the time a CT scan is obtained. It is also not uncommon to have residual discomfort after a stone has passed. We aren’t aware of good data on this phenomenon but we have seen patients complain of mild discomfort for up to several weeks after passing a stone. This discomfort may be due to remaining inflammation or swelling in the ureter and kidney area and should resolve on its own.

There are also some less likely reasons why someone may have persistent pain. Some of these include:

1) A stone was “missed” on the CT: While CT scans are highly accurate for detecting stones, there are a few scenarios where a stone can go undetected. A CT that does not include images of the entire length of the ureter but that instead stops before reaching the bladder can miss a stone that is further down. Also, a stone in the lowest part of the ureter near the bladder can sometimes be confused for calcifications known as phleboliths that can look similar on a CT scan.

2) There was another cause for your pain, unrelated to stones: Congenital obstructions of the ureter, known as ureteropelvic junction obstructions, can cause pain similar to a stone episode and will demonstrate swelling in the kidney on a CT scan. However, other clues on the CT scan will usually allow your physicians to determine whether this scenario is a possibility. Other uncommon causes for kidney swelling and pain that may not be easy to detect with a non-contrast CT scan can include passing a blood clot or piece of kidney tissue down the ureter, having a scar or other obstruction of the ureter, and very rarely, having a tumor involving the ureter.

It would be advisable for you to followup with your physician to review the radiologist’s report. Some physicians, including most urologists, may also review the actual CT scan images. You can consult with your physician to determine whether a followup ultrasound or CT scan is necessary to insure that the swelling in the kidney resolves. It should resolve if what you had was actually a successfully passed stone.

Please note that this information is not intended to represent medical advice or professional opinion. Each patient’s case is unique and we recommend that all patients seek care with a local medical professional who can thoroughly review the circumstances and details of their case.


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57 Responses to Ask Why do I still have pain after passing a stone?

  1. Rafael says:

    We are in the same predictament. CT Scan constantly give conflcting diagnosis. Yes stone.. No Stone.. 5 weeks in and my wife still in agony. She passed one stone and we are getting conflicting if there is another. Never knew what suffering was until now. very hard to watch and be helpless
    For all those who suffer. Our prayers are with you and your not aloe

    There is a natural remedy to reduce pain. Please google Kidney stone Lemon and Olive oil cure.. It states to reduce the pain.. God Bless

  2. Dan says:

    I had an IVP ex ray to look for a possible kidney stone. No blockage or stones were found, but two days later, a stone passed during urination. I was very happy the stone passed, but I’m still having significant burning every time I urinate. It really stings like I’m passing glass. It’s been a week and it’s still happening. Any idea what’s causing this and what I need to make this go away?

  3. pradyumna says:

    I was detected with mild hydro-uretero nephrosis in right kidney with a calculus in pelvi-ureteric junction measuring 6mm. I was treated with suitable medicine by a family physician. After a month, one day it started to pain very badly had a tough night so I went my doctor and got my follow up scan done. I was free from the stone. after few weeks I am still getting a mild pain in that region, surprisingly if I drink 2 to 3L of water everyday the pain vanishes. I am confused!!

  4. rajendra kr ravi says:

    i had stone in both kidney by the report of CT scan no any stone found. but i suffer from pain now. why?

  5. Karen says:

    I am a 44 year old female who has suffered from kidney stones since childhood. The urologist can explain why I produce so many. I seem to have more in the left side than the right side. I just had another episode and finally went to the ER last night and they said no stone, no infection all is good. So WHY do I continue to have pain when nothing is there anymore. This happens more often than not. I feel embarrassed for wasting the hospital and family time for nothing. But I know this pain is real and not just in my head. Feeling very frustrated and don’t know where else to turn.

  6. vaibhav says:

    i had kidney stone 1month ago and have still pain . pain is little but why ?

  7. holly c. says:

    I had severe pain for a whole week. I thought it was a urine infection. Went to the hospital they said it looks like a passed a stone. It was the worst pain ever. My question is I m still having pain in my lower left side of my back,and pressure down above. Im still haveing light bloood in urine, is this normalor not?

  8. Ellie says:

    I just passed a kidney stone last thursday and had alot of blood in my urine, now I’m still having pain off and on not sure if i have another kidney stone, could hardly pee this morning and then went alot more after i drank alot of water.

  9. Daniella says:

    My name is Daniella and I am 31 yrs old,I had Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy done on March 5th. The pain afterwards was not that bad at all. I was sore but my left kidney did not hurt as bad as before. I thought for few days that things were getting better. One night I was woken up with pain that I knew was a stone passing and I passed a 2mm. I passed another 1mm two day later (I had 4 total stones before and one of those being a 5mm) I hope that the stones passed were the bigger stone busted up but I also had a 3mm a 2mm and possible a 1mm. The Doc told me everything went well with the blasting. The problem is I have been in some pretty bad pain for WEEKS now. Like it hurts worse now than it did before I had the lithotrispy done. I knew I would be passing stones for a month but was under the impression I wouldn’t hurt AS BAD as before. Now that it is worse not only is my left kidney (back area) hurt it is starting to wrap around my side with the pain. This is new for my. Ive never had this pain before. Is this normal and HOW LONG WILL I HURT BAD???? I know you dont know for sure but on average? Thank you in advance for the help.

  10. Darren says:

    Passed a two mm. stone Thursday night and was discharged from hospital yesterday afternoon. Still have significant residual pain. Found information on website which offers several explanations for causes of the pain and they all seem reasonable. Check it out, you’ll probably be glad you did.

  11. Anthony says:

    I had 3 mm stone and was operated on for scrotal sist had operation to remove it I went back to hospital with pain and stone was still there 3 weeks ago I had operation again and doctors told me they got the stone now here I am starting to suffer with pain again

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