Kidney stones are hardened mineral and salt deposits that develop from concentrated urine in the kidneys. These stones can travel throughout the urinary tract, causing severe pain but usually no permanent injury. Most patients diagnosed with kidney stones will be able to pass them from their body by drinking lots of water to “flush” the deposits out. However, when a stone is particularly large and/or becomes stuck somewhere along the urinary tract, surgery may be recommended. Typical symptoms of kidney stones include intense pain in the back, side, groin or abdomen that appears in waves along with painful urination, cloudy or discolored urine, and sometimes fever, nausea and chills. Medical assistance for kidney stones should be sought when the pain associated with them is particularly severe, when there is blood in the urine, when the patient experiences difficulty urinating and when a fever is present.