Bear-Shaped Kidney Stone Blamed for Teen's Kidney Failure

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A large, bear-shaped kidney stone damaged a 16-year-old's kidney so severely it had to be removed, the Daily Herald newspaper reported Friday.

Nick Knabusch, of Algonquin, Illinois in suburban Chicago, woke up one recent morning with pain so severe that it caused him to double over. He was diagnosed with a kidney stone that had destroyed his right kidney. The kidney was removed by doctors with the help of a surgical robot, the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based newspaper reported.

With his surgical wounds still fresh, Knabusch was diagnosed Thursday by Dr. David Goldrath, of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois, with cystinuria, a genetic disorder that causes amino acids to collect in the urinary tract at higher concentrations than normal.

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Under these circumstances, the amino acid cystine has a high potential for forming solid crystals, which group together to form rock-hard kidney stones, according to the Web site

While Knabusch is expected to live out a full life with one kidney, doctors say he should avoid contact sports. He also has to take potassium citrate and drink three to four liters of water daily, as well as undergo periodic testing for kidney stones, the newspaper reported.

Click here for more on this story from the Daily Herald.