What is Testicular Torsion?
Testicular torsion is a medical emergency in which a testicle rotates, resulting in a twisted spermatic cord and cutting off the blood supply to the testicles. It is a common cause of sudden pain and swelling in the scrotum, which typically occurs in adolescent boys or young adults.
Common Symptoms of Testicular Torsion
When the spermatic cord, which is a network of vessels and nerves that bring blood to the testicles, is blocked, resulting in testicular torsion, several common symptoms can be experienced. These include sudden and severe pain in the lower abdomen, groin, and scrotum; swelling of the scrotum and testicles; an unusually hard lump in the scrotum; abdominal pain that radiates to the lower back; nausea and vomiting.
Risks Associated with Testicular Torsion
The main risk associated with testicular torsion is the loss of testicular tissue due to lack of blood supply. If left untreated, testicular torsion can cause permanent damage to the testicle and can result in infertility. Testicular torsion can also lead to the formation of cysts and abscesses.
How Is Testicular Torsion Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of testicular torsion is made primarily by a physical examination, which can reveal swelling and tenderness in the affected area. An ultrasound can be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of Testicular Torsion
Testicular torsion is typically treated with manual rotation or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition. Manual rotation is used to untwist the spermatic cord so that blood supply can be restored. Surgery is required to untwist the spermatic cord, or to remove the damaged testicle.
Prevention of Testicular Torsion
The best way to prevent testicular torsion is to wear supportive underwear or athletic cups to minimize movement of the testicles, and avoid any contact sport or activity that has potential for trauma to the scrotum.
Testicular torsion is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. The main symptom of testicular torsion is sudden and severe pain in the scrotum, lower abdomen, and groin. Other symptoms such as swelling of the scrotum and testicles, hardness, and nausea may accompany the pain. Treatment of testicular torsion can involve manual rotation or surgery, and prevention of testicular torsion is best done by wearing supportive clothing and avoiding contact sports.