What are urinary stones?
In industrialized countries, urinary stones – urolithiasis – are rare in children. When present, it is often associated with specific metabolic disorders or anatomic abnormalities. When patients under the age of 20 form stones, they usually do so in a recurrent fashion and require a thorough medical and surgical evaluation to develop a treatment plan that will prevent further stone formation.
How are they formed?
The key features of the patient’s history relevant to the formation of stones include family history, age of onset, fluid intake pattern, diet, medications and history of infections. In some cases, extended immobilization, secondary to an injury that the child may have had with active growing bones can lead to urinary stones. Low fluid intake and unusual dietary patterns may also bring out a tendency to stone formation.
How are they treated?
In all children or adolescents with stone disease a thorough laboratory evaluation is required, including a urinalysis and urine culture. Some stones will have the potential to pass spontaneously if given time with appropriate hydration and pain control. However, for those stones that do not pass spontaneously, various interventions may be indicated. At our practice, we treat patients with active stone disease from infancy up through late adolescence. Whenever possible, we use the least invasive measures necessary to extract the stone.