What is testicular torsion?

Torsion of the testicle causes the spermatic cord in the testicle to twist and stop blood flow to the testicle, resulting in pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting and lightheadedness. Testicular torsion is also known as testicular ischemia, testicular twisting, or torsion of the testis. The most common cause of testicular torsion is injury, but it may also arise without apparent cause. Testicular torsion is most common in boys and young adults.

Testicular torsion develops when the spermatic cord within a testicle becomes twisted around the blood vessels in the testicle and scrotum, thereby cutting off the blood supply and potentially causing irreversible damage. Testicular torsion is an emergency that requires immediate medical care.

The symptoms of testicular torsion occur rapidly, although the condition varies among individuals. Some boys and men will have swelling and pain, while others will also have light-headedness, nausea with or without vomiting, or blood in the semen. Regardless of the severity of symptoms, all cases pose a risk of permanent damage.

Fortunately, testicular torsion can generally be treated successfully if done so within six hours of symptom onset. Manual or surgical correction of the problem can be performed, usually without further complications if rapid treatment has been obtained.

Testicular torsion is a serious condition. Seek immediate medical care or (call 911) for symptoms such as persistent vomiting; rapid, severe pain in one testicle; or swelling of one side of the scrotum.

Seek prompt medical care if you have brief recurrent episodes of testicular discomfort or persistent, mild pain in the testicle.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of testicular torsion?

Testicular torsion causes an absence of blood flow within the scrotum and may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.... Read more about testicular torsionsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes testicular torsion?

Testicular torsion develops when the spermatic cord within a testicle becomes twisted around the blood vessels in the testicle and scrotum, thereby cutting off the blood supply and potentially causing irreversible damage.... Read more about testicular torsioncauses

TREATMENTS

How is testicular torsion treated?

Treatment for testicular torsion begins with seeking immediate medical care from your health care provider or an emergency department. To determine if you have testicular torsion, your health care provider will ask you questions, examine your testicle, and possibly request an ultrasound examination to assess blood flow.... Read more about testicular torsiontreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Male Reproductive System