Pediatric Bladder Stones
Bladder stones are hard masses that form when the minerals in your child’s urine collect and stick together.
Bladder stones are hard, rock-like masses in the bladder that form when the minerals found in urine collect and stick together. At first, the minerals stick together and form crystals. When these crystals begin to stick together, a bladder stone may form. Bladder stones are more common in children who cannot empty their bladder completely during urination.
The most common causes of bladder stones are:
- Bladder diverticulum (a small sac that may trap particles in the bladder)
- Bladder infection
- Catheter use
- Chronic dehydration
- Inflammation caused by radiation treatment
- Narrow urethra
- Nerve damage (called neurogenic bladder)
- Side effect from pelvic surgery
- Small kidney stones (that travel to the bladder)
Bladder stones are less common in children in the United States and more common in men over age 50. However, your child could be at risk for bladder stones if they have one of the following conditions:
- Bladder outlet obstruction — If your child has any condition that blocks the flow of urine from the bladder to the urethra (tube that drains urine from the bladder), they are more at risk for bladder stones.
- Spinal cord injury — A spinal cord injury or other nerve damage can affect the nerves that control bladder function. This condition is called neurogenic bladder.
In many cases, bladder stones are small and your child may have no symptoms. However, if bladder stones are large or stick to the bladder or ureter (tube that passes urine from kidney to bladder), they can cause symptoms that may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine
- Dark colored urine
- Difficulty with urination
- Frequent urination
- Incontinence (daytime accidents)
- Lower back pain
- Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting)
- Pain in the penis or testicles (for boys)
- Painful urination
- Urine flow that stops and starts