CLINICAL FEATURES: A Caucasian man aged 25 years had sudden bilateral inguinal and occasional periumbilical pain. The initial symptom suggested an abdominal pathologic condition; however, costovertebral angle pain followed 1 hour later with no radiation between the 2 anatomic sites. The initial urine dipstick result was negative for hematuria, but a kidney, ureter, and bladder radiograph revealed a smooth 2-mm x 3-mm stone lodged at the left: vesico-ureteral junction.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient was referred to a regional university medical center to receive extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy several days after his initial visit. He was given pain medicine for the waiting period and received daily lumbar spine adjustments with a mild reduction in pain. He eventually received ureteroscopic laser lithotripsy because the shock-wave unit had malfunctioned before his appointment. The fragment analysis showed a calcium oxalate composition, and the patient was advised to lower his intake of oxalates. The patient had become a vegetarian approximately 3 months before this first stone episode.
CONCLUSION: Nephrolithiasis is a condition commonly seen in chiropractic practice. Although it is usually easy to recognize, the diagnosis can be elusive if the typical historic factors and diagnostic results are absent or altered. The short-term management of nephrolithiasis is pain management, stone elimination, and the collection of a specimen to identify the composition and underlying metabolic abnormality. Long-term management is to prevent the recurrence of stones. Conservative comanagement by the chiropractic physician can be implemented through nutritional means.
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