Cochrane Summaries

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Can percussion, diuresis, and inversion therapy improve outcomes for people with lower pole kidney stones following shock wave lithotripsy?

Liu L, Li Q, Wei Q, Liu Z, Xu Y
Published Online: 
8 December 2013

Lower pole kidney stones are challenging to treat effectively. Many people with lower pole kidney stones undergo shock wave lithotripsy to break up stones so they can be passed from the body in the urine. In some cases, stone fragments can be retained, and these can be difficult to eliminate. Better techniques are needed to help people pass small lower pole kidney stones or fragments that remain following shock wave lithotripsy.

We found two small studies that investigated effectiveness and safety of percussion (striking or tapping the body, usually using a device called a percussor), diuresis (therapy to increase urine flow), and inversion therapy (placing the patient at an inverted angle) for treating lower pole kidney stones.

Although the evidence we found suggested that percussion, diuresis, and inversion therapy may help the passage of lower pole kidney stones after shock wave lithotripsy, this finding was based on very limited evidence of moderate quality. Further studies investigating these treatments in more people are needed to confirm any observed benefits or harms.