The kidneys are located between T11 and L3; the right kidney is 1 to 2 cm lower than the left one. The medial borders of the kidneys are about 3.5 cm from the midline. Respiration may move the kidneys up and down, but no more than the distance of one vertebra.
In case of light injury from acupuncture, the patient may feel slight pain in the lumbar area. When urine is examined under a microscope, a minor amount of red blood cells may be observed. This condition can be self-healing. Sometimes secondary bleeding is detected 2 to 3 weeks later. In case of severe injury, the patient may complain of lumbar pain, which may radiate to the shoulder, and of stiff lumbar muscles or swelling in the lumbar area, bloody urine, high fever, and feeling cold. In these cases, hemoglobin level decreases and the white blood cell count increases. Surgery may be needed for a severe condition if the patient experiences shock, bloody urine, increasing swelling, or infection.
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