While kidney stones are not the cause of death they were in generations past, helping them pass through the urinary tract can still be a challenge and involve a good amount of pain. What if instead the prescribed therapy was a trip to Disney World? Michigan State University urologist David Warninger, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), heard anecdotes of people passing kidney stones while riding a roller coaster, so he set out to investigate the possibility of these claims.
Wartinger and his team modified an adult ureteroscopy and renoscopy simulator by making it transparent so one can see stones within. Three different sized stones were positioned within the silicone device and the rig strapped into a seat on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (pictured) at Disney World. It went for a ride twenty times in different seats on the coaster, and the position of the stones and their sizes were recorded after every go around.
Here are the exciting results from The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association:
Results: Sixty renal calculi rides were analyzed. Independent of renal calculi volume and calyceal location, front seating on the roller coaster resulted in a passage rate of 4 of 24. Independent of renal calculi volume and calyceal location, rear seating on the roller coaster resulted in a passage rate of 23 of 36. Independent of renal calculi volume in rear seating, calyceal location differed in passage rates, with an upper calyceal calculi passage rate of 100%; a middle calyceal passage rate of 55.6%; and a lower calyceal passage rate of 40.0%.
Conclusion: The functional pyelocalyceal renal model serves as a functional patient surrogate to evaluate activities that facilitate calyceal renal calculi passage. The rear seating position on the roller coaster led to the most renal calculi passages.
Study in Journal of the American Osteopathic Association: Validation of a Functional Pyelocalyceal Renal Model for the Evaluation of Renal Calculi Passage While Riding a Roller Coaster…
Rollear coaster image credit: Hello Jessie…