Testicular Torsion

Also known as: torsion of testes, torsion of the spermatic cord.

What is testicular torsion?

Each testis is connected to the penis by a spermatic cord which contains blood vessels, nerves, muscles and a tube to carry sperm to the penis. Testicular torsion is the medical term for when a testicle rotates and twists the spermatic cord cutting off its blood supply. While uncommon, testicular torsion is a medical emergency as the lack of blood supply to the testis may destroy it if left untreated, in 4-6 hours.

What causes testicular torsion? 

Testicular torsion usually occurs in the newborn baby or around puberty (though it can happen at any age). Many boys develop testicular torsion because of poor attachment of the testis in the scrotum.

What are the symptoms of testicular torsion? 

One or both testes may be involved. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, swelling, redness, nausea, vomiting, painful urination and fever.

What are testicular torsion care options? 

Occasionally a physician can reverse the torsion manually, usually however, surgery is required.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:16:59 PM

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