Doctor diagnosing kidney stones using medical imaging for effective treatment.
Kidney Stones

Understanding ICD-10 Code for Kidney Stones: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve ever experienced the agony of kidney stones, you know just how painful and disruptive they can be. Kidney stones are common and affect many people around the world. They form in the kidneys due to the buildup of minerals and salts in the urine. To effectively deal with kidney stones, accurate diagnosis and coding are crucial. The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) is helpful in this situation.
In this guide, we’ll explain ICD-10 code for kidney stones in a way that’s easy to understand.

What is ICD-10?

ICD-10 is a standardized coding system used by medical professionals to classify and code different diseases, conditions, and injuries. It’s like a common language that allows doctors and hospitals to communicate effectively. The codes are made up of numbers and letters, and they represent specific medical conditions. This system helps with insurance claims and tracking health trends.

Kidney Stones: A Brief Overview

Kidney stones are solid masses that can be tiny or quite large, and they develop in the kidneys. As they go through the urinary tract, they may hurt and feel uncomfortable. The most typical kinds include cystine, struvite, uric acid, and calcium oxalate stones.

What Causes Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones can develop as a result of several causes, including:

  1. Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can lead to concentrated urine, making it easier for minerals to crystallize and form stones.
  2. Diet: Kidney stone risk can be raised by a diet rich in animal protein, salt, and oxalate.
  3. Family History: If someone in your family has had kidney stones, you may be more prone to getting them too.
  4. Medical Conditions: Certain health conditions, like hyperparathyroidism and urinary tract infections, can make kidney stones more likely.
  5. Medications: Some medications may increase the risk of kidney stone formation.

Common Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Recognizing the symptoms of kidney stones is important for early detection:

  1. Severe Pain: The pain caused by kidney stones can be intense and usually occurs in the back, side, or lower abdomen.
  2. Blood in Urine: Kidney stones can cause blood to appear in the urine, making it pink, red, or brown.
  3. Changes in Urination: Cloudy or bad-smelling urine and frequent urination are common with kidney stones.
  4. Discomfort while Urinating: Pain or a burning sensation during urination is also a possible symptom.
  5. Nausea and Vomiting: Severe pain from kidney stones can cause nausea and vomiting.

ICD-10 Code for Kidney Stones

When it comes to coding kidney stones using the ICD-10 system, doctors use specific codes based on the type and location of the stone. Some of the important codes are listed below:

  1. N20.0 – Calculus of kidney: This code is used for kidney stones in the renal pelvis.
  2. N20.1 – Calculus of ureter: When the kidney stone moves to the ureter, this code is used.
  3. N20.2 – Calculus of kidney with calculus of ureter: If both the kidney and ureter have stones, this code is used.
  4. N20.9 – Calculus of lower urinary tract, unspecified: This code is used when the exact location of the stone is not specified.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing kidney stones often involves asking about medical history, conducting a physical exam, and using imaging tests. CT scans, ultrasounds, and X-rays are frequently used imaging techniques. Treatment depends on factors like stone size, location, and severity of symptoms:

  1. Medication: Pain relievers and alpha-blockers can help manage pain and facilitate stone passage.
  2. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): This non-invasive procedure uses shock waves to break down stones into smaller pieces, making them easier to pass.
  3. Ureteroscopy: A thin tube is inserted into the ureter to remove or break down the stone.
  4. Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): This minimally invasive surgery is used to remove large stones from the kidney.

Preventive Measures

Preventing kidney stones is possible by making some lifestyle changes:

  1. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps flush out minerals and prevents their concentration.
  2. Balanced Diet: Reduce sodium and oxalate-rich foods while increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  3. Limit Animal Protein: Moderating animal protein intake can lower the risk of stone formation.
  4. Monitor Medications: Be aware of medication side effects that might increase the risk of kidney stones.


Understanding ICD-10 code for kidney stones is essential for accurate medical coding and effective healthcare. Kidney stones can be incredibly painful, but with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, relief is possible. Preventive actions, such as staying hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet, can help lower the chance of kidney stone development.

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