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Kidney Stones: A Small Problem that Can Lead to Big-Time Pain

  • Category: Urology
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man standing in a wrestling rink

Tennis shoes laced up. Knee brace on. Wayne Bruno is ready to hit the mat to coach high school wrestlers. At 72 years young, this is Wayne’s 49th season of coaching. He considers wrestling a third child of sorts.

“I think if you ask my son and daughter, my son wrestled for me and my daughter was a cheerleader for me, they would probably say it might have been the first child,” chuckled Wayne.

That’s not all that keeps Wayne moving. “I still mow my lawn,” he said. “I ride a motorcycle. I do some construction work in the summer. People say you are only as old as you feel and I don’t feel 72; that is whatever you’re supposed to feel like at 72!”

Wayne knows how one thing feels for sure – kidney stones.

“I don’t think they come close to childbirth, but I think there are extremely painful – I mean, extremely painful,” said Wayne.

But Wayne shrugged off the pain; attributing it to his active lifestyle.

“I knew in the back of my mind that it was a kidney stone because I have had one before,” Wayne said. “I put it off for way too long. Probably anywhere between a month and six weeks, which did nothing but cause more complications.”

Wayne finally reached his breaking point and made an appointment with Dr. Nathan Grunewald, a Urologist. Sauk Prairie Healthcare recently expanded their team of surgeons by adding Dr. Grunewald, which now means patients can get care locally for urologic needs, such as kidney stones; enlarged prostate; male fertility, including vasectomy, low testosterone and erectile dysfunction; incontinence; recurrent urinary tract infection; and cancers including kidney, bladder, prostate and testicular.

“Back or side pain are the most common symptoms related to kidney stones,” said Dr. Grunewald. “A kidney stone is a small mass of minerals, usually made of calcium, that can form in your urinary tract. They can often pass through your system without a problem. But, when they get too large, they get stuck. Pressure builds up as your body produces urine and your kidney actually swells a little bit. It’s that swelling that causes the pain.”

Tests revealed that Wayne had not one, but several stones and they were large enough that they would not pass on their own, so Wayne had surgery to remove them.

“We use miniaturized telescopes and laser therapy to break up the stone,” said Dr. Grunewald. “Sauk Prairie Healthcare has the latest technology so that patients have access to the best equipment that will effectively treat all stone types.”

The number of kidney stones cases are reportedly on the rise in the United States. Some attribute it to obesity. Kidney stones don’t have a single cause, but there are some risk factors like being overweight, a diet high in protein, sodium or sugar, low consumption of fluids or a rapid loss of fluids. Genetics and some medical conditions can also play a role.

Now, Wayne is focusing on trying to prevent a kidney stone from happening again.

“A lot of this was my own fault since I don’t have the best diet,” Wayne admitted. “Dr. Grunewald has had a great approach to helping me change my lifestyle and I’m trying to live up to that.”

Worried you might have kidney stones? Don’t wait any longer, talk to your doctor or call 608-643-2431 to make an appointment with Dr. Grunewald.