Testicular torsion is a condition which involves twisting of the spermatic cord when a testicle rotates. This results in reduced blood flow to the scrotum, characterized by sudden and severe pain and inflammation. Testicular torsion is usually found in children between 12 and 16 of age. However, it can happen at any age, even before birth.
Testicular torsion generally requires immediate surgery. Due to significant reduction in the blood flow for a long time, a testicle may become severely damaged. Hence, it has to be removed.
Signs and symptoms:
- Severe or sudden pain in the scrotum
- Inflammation of the scrotum
- Pain in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- A testicle that is positioned higher than usual
What causes testicular torsion is unknown. Signs and symptoms of testicular torsion may follow:
- Rigorous physical activity
- Injury to the scrotum
- Exposure to cold temperatures
- Rapid growth of the testis during adolescence
- Sleeping position
- Testicular torsion is very common in adolescents between 12 and 16 years of age.
- If you’ve ever had testicular pain that could be relieved without treatment, it’s most likely to occur again. If you had frequent bouts of pain, it is likely that the testicle would get permanently damaged.
- Family history
Quite often, doctors diagnose testicular torsion with physical examination of the scrotum, testicles, abdomen and groin.
Sometimes, the doctor may also test the patient’s reflexes by either slightly rubbing or pinching the inside of the thigh on the affected side. Usually, this makes the testicle contract. If this reflex does not occur, it means that you have testicular torsion.
Medical tests are needed to confirm a diagnosis. These include:
- Urine test
- Scrotal ultrasound to assess blood flow to the testicle.
Surgery is sometimes required to correct testicular torsion. Surgery for testicular torsion is generally performed under general anesthesia. During surgery, the doctor will make a small incision in your scrotum, untwist the spermatic cord if required and stitch either one or generally both the testicles to the inside of the scrotum so as to prevent rotation. If the treatment occurs within six hours, the success rate is around 95 percent but it tends to decline gradually to about 20 percent after a period of 24 hours.