kidney stone

Roller Coaster

Well here is a remedy after my own simple heart: Shaking out a kidney stone on a roller coaster ride.

Here is an excerpt: “According to a new study from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, roller coasters can, in fact, do more than just give you a temporary thrill. Specifically, study author David Wartinger and his co-author Marc Mitchell set out to test the experience of one patient who claimed to have passed three kidney stones after taking three rides on Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.”

The researchers then made a model kidney of silicone, put urine and three kidney stones in it and took a bunch of rides on the same Thunder Mountain Railroad. Sitting near the front yielded a 16% passage rate while in the back a stunning 64% rate. It is not discussed in this article that the physiologic response of a silicone model may or may not be the same as an actually kidney and ureter with stones.


So, you really can pass a kidney stone on a roller coaster?

On the other hand, this validates some advice I have given to patients, kind of off the cuff, but now I look brilliant. For ureteral stones I have advocated home trampoline jumping, or even just simply jumping in place. However, I have never done an analysis on what effect this may have had on patients who actually carried out those recommendations.

Another bright new idea which still needs more testing is using ultrasound (from outside the body) to aim at a stone and use the ultrasound energy to push the stone down the ureter. This is in contrast to Extracorporeal Shock-Wave Lithotripsy which is utilized to break up stones within the body…this obviously requires much higher energy than ultrasound used to manipulate a stone.

Anyway, high tech, low tech, or no tech, all one needs to dream up the next big thing is a good imagination and the drive to test it out!  – Dr. Lawrence Newman of Las Vegas Urology