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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes stabbing pain under the rib cage radiating to the back?

My husband had sharp/stabbing pain in his right side that radiates to his back and in the front just under his rib cage. He recently had surgery to remove kidney stones from his left side. His urologist says that the CAT scan showed small kidney stones that he says are not moving, but the pain is very much like that of the pain he suffered before the surgery. What could be the problem?
Fri, 22 Jun 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service.
I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

If your husband has had small kidney stones, they might not be moving at that time but being small makes them very likely to move from time to time. If they are under 1 cm they can move and block the urine tubes (urethers) and cause a strong pain. It is good to go back to the doctor and have a visit and possibly another ultrasound done. The doctor might also order a urinalysis or other tests he might find needed after the examination.
Meanwhile make sure you drink plenty (at least 2.5-3 liters of water a day) to help the urinary system clean and the stone move forward and prevent urinary infection.

Hope I have answered your query.
Let me know if I can assist you further.

Kind regards,
Antoneta Zotaj, MD
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