Roller Coasters and Kidney Stones

iStock_44741540_MEDIUMIf you've ever had a kidney stone, or witnessed someone suffering the pain of "passing" one, the idea of simply taking a roller coaster ride to clear them out may be appealing.  In this novel study that Rick and I discuss on PodMed this week, as published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, the efficacy of riding a roller coaster in dislodging renal calculi (that's medicalese for kidney stones) was examined, and lo and behold! riding in the back of the train was associated with an almost 70% success rate at displacing the stones into a position where they could be eliminated.

How did anyone ever get such an idea?  The authors had patients who reported passing kidney stones after roller coaster rides.  Based on these reports they decided to construct a kidney model, complete with real kidney stones suspended in urine from a patient.  Three different size calculi were used and placed in different anatomical locations in the kidney.  The model was placed in a backpack worn by one of the authors, and multiple roller coaster rides were undertaken.  Turns out the best coaster and position for dislodging stones was the rear car of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Walt Disney World. The authors say that the best coasters for this purpose are those with a rough ride with multiple twists and turns, but not upside down loops or other inversions.  So for those of us who have renal calculi, maybe we should try this at home!

Other topics this week include two from Annals of Internal Medicine: Effect of Structured Physical Activity on Overall Burden and Transitions Between States of Major Mobility Disability in Older Persons: Secondary Analysis of a Randomized, Controlled Trial, and Effectiveness of Screening Colonoscopy to Prevent Colorectal Cancer Among Medicare Beneficiaries Aged 70 to 79 Years: A Prospective Observational Study, and one from JAMA Pediatrics:Health Status Among Adults Born With an Oral Cleft in Norway. Until next week, y'all live well.

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