How is flank pain categorized relative to the kidneys?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019
  • Author: Bradley C Gill, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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One simple way to conceptualize flank pain is to divide it into major categories, according to its relationship to the kidney, as follows:

  • Non-renal causes of flank pain, such as musculoskeletal problems
  • Parenchymal problems, which involve the actual kidney tissue (eg, infection, inflammation)
  • Non-parenchymal problems, which often relate to impaired kidney drainage

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