Testicular torsion happens when the spermatic cord is twisted and blood flow to the testicles and nearby tissue in the scrotum is reduced. Testicular torsion is most common in 10 to 25 year olds, but can happen at any age, sometimes even before birth. Testicular torsion is rare in newborns and infants, but can occur. It is characterized by the infant having a hard, swollen testicle that may be a darker color. If an emergency surgery is not performed, the loss of a testicle may occur because testicle tissue cannot survive without blood flow. This is a very painful condition that also cases swelling.
It is estimated that the testicle can be saved 90% of the time after 6 hours, 50% after 12 hours, and after 24 hours, the possibility of the testicle being saved drastically reduces to 10%.
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- Swollen scrotum
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Severe pain in the scrotum
- Painful urination
- One testicle higher than the other
There is no specific cause for testicular torsion, but most males who are affected by testicular torsion have an inherited trait that may be responsible for the occurrence of this condition. This inherited trait allows the testicle to rotate freely inside the scrotum.
The condition often happens after long periods of strenuous activity or an injury to the testicles.
The doctor will ask the patient a few questions to find out whether his symptoms are being caused by testicular torsion or another condition. A physical exam of the scrotum, testicles, and abdomen will also be performed. The following medical tests may also be necessary to help with the diagnosis of testicular torsion.
- Urine or blood tests
- Scrotal ultrasound
In infants, ultrasound does not always detect reduced blood flow to the scrotum, so surgery may be needed to diagnose testicular torsion.
Testicular torsion requires surgery to be corrected. It is usually performed under general anesthesia. The sooner surgery is performed, the higher the possibility that the testicle will be saved.
If you suspect that you or child may have testicular torsion, it is important to seek the help of an experienced urologist immediately. Dr. Grace Hyun is a board certified urologist who specializes in pediatric urology. If you are in need of a Female Pediatric Urologist Manhattan, Female Pediatric Urologist NYC, Pediatric Urologist New York, or Pediatric Urologist Manhattan, contact Dr. Grace Hyun.