Testicular Torsion: Diagnosis and Treatment
Testicular torsion is a condition in which the spermatic cord is not able to carry blood to testicles. The cord may become twisted due to defects in the connective tissue in the scrotum. An injury to the scrotum may also cause torsion of the testicles, resulting in swelling. Some men who often indulge in heavy exercise also suffer from testicular torsion due to injury to the testicles.
Some men are born with a predisposition to testicular torsion. Men who experience torsion are most likely to have weaker connective tissue in the scrotum. As a result of this condition, the testicles are able to move easily in the scrotum, thus raising the risk of the twisting of spermatic cord.
- An injury to the groin may also cause torsion of the testes.
- Rapid growth during puberty may cause testicular torsion in some males.
Testicular Torsion Symptoms
Torsion of the testicle is an extremely painful condition that must be treated immediately to prevent permanent damage to the testicle. If left untreated for a long time, the condition may require surgical intervention. It is most common between 10 and 20 years of age.
Some of the common testicular torsion symptoms may include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sudden severe pain in testicles
- Scrotal swelling
- Blood in the semen
- Testicle lump
Testicular torsion may cause loss of affected testicle and blood loss to the testicle due to the twisting of spermatic cord. Testicular tissue dies without blood flow. Testicular pain is experienced in one or both testicles. The pain may start in the testicle or due to other conditions affecting the groin, scrotum, or abdomen that require immediate attention to prevent death of the testicular tissue and loss of testicular function.
Testicular Torsion Diagnosis
The doctor will first look for testicular torsion symptoms for diagnosis of the condition and then conduct a physical examination. The doctor will try to ensure that other conditions affecting the testicle and scrotum are not the cause for the problem. These conditions may include epididymitis or orchitis.
In some cases, a testicular cancer or tumor could be the cause of the problem, with symptoms similar to testicular torsion. An ultrasound test may be conducted to examine the contents of the scrotum and diagnose the cause of the problem. Surgery may be required in several cases where the testes have been severely damaged. If testicles are to be removed at an early age, it can affect hormone production in infants and also future fertility.
Testicular Torsion Treatment
- Manual detorsion is a procedure in which the doctor untwists the spermatic cord by hand.
- Surgery is required to restore blood flow to the testicles. The testicular tissue can die if blood flow is interrupted for more than six hours, requiring removal of the affected testicle. Surgical detorsion uses general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the scrotum and untwists the cord. Tiny sutures are required to keep the testicle properly placed in the scrotum and prevent rotation. The incision is closed with stitches.