What Are the Dangers of a Horseshoe Kidney?

Boston Children's Hospital lists a number of potential complications associated with horseshoe kidney, including kidney stones, renal cancer, spina bifida, enlargement of the kidney and Wilm's tumor, a condition in which a tumor begins to form within the kidney during early childhood. Up to one-third of people with horseshoe kidneys experience these types of complications.

The University of Rochester Medical Center states that horseshoe kidney occurs in about one in 500 children. It happens within the womb; as kidneys begin to rise into their normal position from the pelvic area, they become fused together into the shape of a horseshoe. This defect may occur on its own or in combination with other disorders.

Boston Children's Hospital states that about one-third of children with horseshoe kidney do not experience symptoms. Those with symptoms typically experience frequent urinary tract infections, bloody urine, nausea, sweating, chills, restlessness and changes in urinary frequency. Children who do not experience symptoms generally do not require treatment.

The Urology Care Foundation states that for those who experience complications, treatment is available to relieve the symptoms, but as of 2014, there is no definitive cure for horseshoe kidney. Specific treatments depend on a variety of factors, including the child's age, medical history, overall health and tolerance for certain medications of therapies, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.