Kidney, floating

Unstable kidney position caused by detachment of the organ from its capsule. The kidneys are normally firmly anchored in connective and fatty tissue at the upper back of the abdominal cavity, directly below the diaphragm and protected from the rear by the ribs. Sometimes a kidney is inadequately attached, and slips loose when the body is in a upright position. It is then known as a floating kidney. The condition occurs most frequently in women after several pregnancies or extreme loss of weight. It is possible that a ureter may be trapped in the process, causing urinary retention in the renal pelvis, a potential source of inflammation and even hydronephrosis. Discomfort is usually restricted to pain in the renal area, particularly associated with up and down movements such as jumping and horse-riding. If severe discomfort occurs, the kidney can be restored to its normal position by surgery.