It is a kidney located below, above, or on the opposite side of the kidney’s normal position in the urinary tract. The two kidneys are usually located near the middle of your back, just below your rib cage, on either side of your spine. An ectopic kidney usually doesn’t cause any symptoms or health problems, and many people never find out that they have the condition.. If an ectopic kidney is discovered, it is usually found during a foetal ultrasound—an imaging test that uses sound waves to create a picture of how a baby is developing in the womb—or during medical tests done to check for a urinary tract infection or to find the cause of abdominal pain. Rarely does a person have two ectopic kidneys.
In the womb, foetus kidneys first develop as small buds in the lower abdomen inside the pelvis. During the first 8 weeks of growth, the foetus’s kidneys slowly move from the pelvis to their normal position in the back near the rib cage. When an ectopic kidney occurs during growth, the kidney
- stays in the pelvis near the bladder
- stops moving up too early and stays in the lower abdomen
- moves too high up in the abdomen
- crosses over the centre of the body and often grows into, or joins, the other kidney, with both kidneys on the same side of the body