Testicular Torsion

Testicular torsion cuts off blood supply to the testicle area. To save the testicle, surgery is usually recommended right away.

What is Testicular Torsion?

This condition happens when the spermatic cord (which provides blood flow to the testicle) rotates and becomes twisted. The twisting cuts off the testicle’s blood supply and causes sudden pain and swelling. Testicular torsion requires surgery right away to save the testicle. The condition is most common during infancy (first year of life) and at the beginning of adolescence (puberty).

What are the symptoms of Testicular Torsion?

Common symptoms may include:

  • Sudden, severe pain in one testicle
  • Swelling within one side of the scrotum
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Light-headedness
  • Lump in a testicle
  • Blood in the semen

What causes Testicular Torsion?

Some males may be more likely to develop testicular torsion because they have inadequate connective tissue within the scrotum. But the condition can also result from trauma to the scrotum, particularly if significant swelling occurs. It may also occur after strenuous exercise. Sometimes there is no obvious cause.

How is Testicular Torsion diagnosed?

Your Michigan Institute of Urology physician will ask questions to verify whether your symptoms are caused by testicular torsion or something else. Doctors often diagnose testicular torsion with a physical exam of the scrotum, testicles, stomach, and groin.

Sometimes medical tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis or to identify another cause for your symptoms. For example:

  • Urine test
  • Ultrasound to check blood flow

How is Testicular Torsion treated?

If you’ve had pain for several hours and your physical exam suggests testicular torsion, you might be taken directly to surgery without any additional testing. Delaying surgery might result in loss of the testicle.

Surgery is usually required for testicular torsion and should be performed as soon as possible after symptoms begin. If surgery is performed within 6 hours, testicles can usually be saved.

During surgery, the testicle on the non-affected side is usually also anchored as a preventive measure. This is because the non-affected testicle is at risk of testicular torsion in the future.


Go to Top