Testicular Torsion: What is It & How to Spot the Symptoms

When a man experiences abrupt swelling and intense pain in one testis, along with nausea and vomiting, he most likely has testicular torsion. He should seek medical attention right away.


What exactly is testicular torsion?


Torsion of the testicle is a painful, life-threatening disorder in which a male’s testicular blood supply (the spermatic cord) twists and cuts off blood flow to the testicle. It is a medical emergency, and if not treated immediately (within six hours), the testicle may be lost.


The testicles are the reproductive organs that produce hormones and sperm in a sac (scrotum) beneath the penis. As a result, this illness has the potential to impair your fertility.


Who is prone to testicular torsion?


Torsion is an uncommon yet deadly illness. It affects around one in every 4,000 guys under the age of 25. It is most prevalent in adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18, accounting for 65 percent of all cases.


It can strike neonates within their first year of life. This illness can also afflict men above the age of 25, albeit this is uncommon.


Torsion of the testicles is mainly an unintentional occurrence.


What factors contribute to testicular torsion?


There is usually no cause that precedes testicular torsion, though testicular damage has been linked to it.


A disease known as “bell clapper” deformity is another cause of testicular torsion. A testicle in most males cannot rotate because it is securely linked to the scrotum. A boy born with bell clapper malformation has his testes dangling in the scrotum and can swing freely, similar to a clapper in a bell. This can then result in twisting. This abnormality involves both testes, albeit twisting or torsion in both sides of the scrotum at the same time is extremely rare.


What are the manifestations of testicular torsion?


The abrupt onset of significant testicular pain is a key indicator of testicular torsion. It can happen whether you’re awake or sleeping, standing or sitting. Torsion usually affects only one testicle, with the left testicle being the most typically affected.


If you or your kid exhibits any of the following symptoms, get medical treatment immediately.


Sudden intense discomfort in one testicle that is not the result of an injury or an accident


Swelling of the scrotum on one side that is painful and noticeable to the naked eye


A noticeable testicular lump



What are the symptoms of testicular torsion?


A urologist can usually identify testicular torsion based on a physical examination, a description of your symptoms, and your medical history. Because of the seriousness of the ailment, a prompt diagnosis is critical so that the individual does not lose his testicle. If a urologist is not immediately available, scrotal ultrasonography with doppler signaling may be performed to determine the presence of blood flow inside the testicular tissue.


Only if the patient exhibits unusual symptoms will an X-ray or further tests be performed. A urinalysis or an ultrasound to evaluate blood flow to the region may also be performed in this scenario.



What is the treatment for testicular torsion?

Testicular torsion requires surgery, though an emergency department doctor may attempt to untwist the cord manually. Even in these circumstances, surgery is required. During testicular torsion surgery, the surgeon will untwist the testicle and restore blood supply to the area. To prevent further torsions, he or she will stitch it to the inner scrotal wall.


The surgeon will normally do the procedure through the scrotum, although they may need to make an incision in the groin on occasion. Because a bell clapper is frequently present on both sides, they will also repair the unaffected testicle to prevent future torsion.


According to studies, if surgery is delayed for more than six hours, the testicle will almost certainly need to be removed. This happens in more than 75% of cases after 12 hours.


Unfortunately, babies with testicular torsion frequently lose their testicles because blood flow has been disrupted for an inordinately long period of time and the tissue has died (become infarcted). The deceased testicle will still be removed, and the other testicle will be sutured so it does not twist later in life.


If you’re a man and you have intense pain in your scrotum and lower abdomen, along with nausea or vomiting—especially if you’ve just been kicked in the testicles—you may have testicular torsion.

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