Stones (calculi) are hard masses that form in the urinary tract and may cause pain, bleeding, or an infection or block of the flow of urine.
Tiny stones may cause no symptoms, but larger stones can cause excruciating pain in the area between the ribs and hips in the back.
Usually, an imaging test and an analysis of urine are done to diagnose stones.
Sometimes stone formation can be prevented by changing the diet or increasing fluid intake.
Stones that do not pass on their own are removed with lithotripsy or an endoscopic technique.
Urinary tract stones begin to form in a kidney and may enlarge in a ureter or the bladder. Depending on where a stone is located, it may be called a kidney stone, ureteral stone, or bladder stone. The process of stone formation is called urolithiasis, renal lithiasis, or nephrolithiasis.