Avatar universal

Can an unblocked yet enlarged kidney cause back pain?

For the past year (April 08 to the present) i've been dealing with a damaged left kidney caused by a crossing artery blocking my ureter.  I had a robotic UPJ obstruction last summer which was successful until October of 2008 when i started to feel left flank pain again.  Last week i had the partial blockage (from a stitch from the original procedure) moved and i currently have a ureteral stent in keeping the ureter open while healing.  I've been told by many urologist i've seen after plenty of renal scans, that the kidney will not regain more function (right now its at 25%) but because the stent is in now it is draining properly.

4 days after my most recent procedure however, i started to feel the same swollen flank pain i had that triggered all this in the first place.  My confusion is that the stent is currently in while my back is hurting. My question is can an unblocked yet severely enlarged kidney cause back pain? I have been told that only a blockage can cause discomfort and you don't feel your kidney only the obstruction to and from your kidney.  My doctor told me if i have back pain with the stent in that it might be other factors (ie pinched nerve, slipped disk) which i find hard to believe because it is the exact swollen, numb and bruised type feeling that helped me realize my kidney problems in the first place.  Help?

Hopefully this makes sense and I've explained it well enough, hope to hear from someone soon on it.
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
434278 tn?1324706225
You used the word swollen.  Is the kidney area swollen, or just feels swollen?

I too have an enlarged kidney.  Not real big, but they have put me off for over a year and a half now.

Sometimes stents can cause discomfort. I've never had one, but I have heard they can be very uncomfortable.  Has the dr. offered to do any test to check to see if anything is wrong with the placement of the stent?
Helpful - 0
Hydronephrosis is the swelling of a kidney due to a build-up of urine. It happens when urine cannot drain out from the kidney to the bladder from a blockage or obstruction. Hydronephrosis can occur in one or both kidneys.    I have just been diagnosed with that and it is my right kidney that is swollen because of an obstruction at the bottom.  The urologist said he  could surgically remove it by laproscopy or becasue of my age, 74, just leave it and see what happens.  I am apprehensive about just leaving in an organ that is no longe functioning and swollen.  Also, what about the urine that is accumulates in there, won't it cause problems.  He more of less said the kidney was dead and didn't offer any thing like a stint etc to see if they could open it up more.  I have multiple spinal issues but most of them are on the left side with pain and weakness.  However, this new pain on the right seems to be more tender and I can feel it when I lie down.  Hope somebody will share some feedback as I am still undeciced whether to just leave it or have it removed by surgery. Thank you.
I’m sorry you are going through so much. I would call your dr and ask if a stent would help allow urine to flow better.
I would get a second opinion just to see if the two opinions diverge.  My guess is, especially given your other problems and your age, that the doc is hoping to avoid any kind of surgery just to be on the safe side.  If the kidney is actually incapable of ever functioning again I can see your point but I'm also always aware that docs really don't know that kind of thing for certain.  Another urologist might also have an idea for how to deal with the obstruction.  You won't know if you don't try.  Sometimes the best thing to do with docs is see a better doc, which might mean going out of your area to somewhere where the best docs are.  Good luck.
Just an update on my dead  kidney issue.  My GP took me off my Diclofenac (25) anti-inflammatory meds to help protect my other kidney.  Within three days, I needed a cane to walk.  I already had left-sided weakness since 2002, because of a stroke lime issue.  I have multiple spinal problems, spinal stenois, bulging disks, disk degneration etc. He checked my right hip and said it was busitis and gave me a cortisone shot. I have been taking glucosimine three times daily as well.  The shot didn't work nor the expensive pain cream, so I went back this week.  He told me I didn't have many options because of my age (75) not having a spleen, and only having one working kidney and my prior surgeries.   He said I would have to choose between quality of life or go back on the anti-inflammatory meds and have new blood work to check my kidney function.  Right now, I don't have any quality of life, as I can't do anything any more and standing or walking is too painful.  Anyway, this is day two on the drug again and I the hip feels a bit looser.  He said it is the long tendon in the hip that is causine the pain and a specialist would only treat me with cortisone as well.  There is a one year wait just to see an orthopaedic doctor, so I don't know what to do.  Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
Avatar universal
I was looking up "enlarged kidney" because I just found out I've got one, actually two.  Aching and pain were listed as symptoms, which I definitely have.  I'm no doctor, but I think you doc is wrong.
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Kidney Disease & Disorders Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem