Ohio State Navbar

Patient Care

Flank Pain/Kidney Infections

General Information: The flank refers to the area on the back on either side of the vertebral column and above the hip bones. Lying deep in this area are the kidneys.

Causes/Risk Factors: Pain in the flank area can be from infection or cancer of the kidney. It can also be from an obstruction to the normal flow of urine from the kidney. The obstruction can be from a kidney stone or cancer.

Symptoms: Pain in this area can be described as continuous or episodic. Fever is not uncommon.

Evaluation: A thorough history and physical examination is the starting point. Based on findings, examination of the urine by urinalysis, culture and possibly cytology. Radiologic evaluation by ultrasound, IVP, or retrograde study.

Treatment: Based on the findings, treatment with antibiotics or surgery, either open, laparoscopic or robotic assisted.

To schedule an appointment with an Ohio State urologist, call 614-293-8155.