Testicular torsion is the twisting of a testis (testicle) such that the spermatic cord becomes twisted, cutting off blood flow to the testis.
The testes are suspended in the scrotum by a single bundle of tissues called the spermatic cord. Normally this bundle of tissue holds the testes in place. Each testis receives blood through the spermatic cord. When the testicle is not held firmly in place it can twist, creating a kink in the spermatic cord. When this happens blood supply to the testis is cut off. The resulting situation is an emergency, because the testis will die within hours if the blood supply is not restored.
There is approximately one case of testicular torsion in every 4,000 men under age 25 in the United States. There are two times in life when torsion is most common, although it can occur at any age. Testicular torsion is most common in the first year of life and during adolescence. Torsion is more common in adolescents that it is in newborns.
Causes and symptoms
Testicular torsion is caused by the rotating of the testicle is such a way that the blood flow to it is cut off. Symptoms of testicular torsion are sudden severe pain in the scrotum, swelling and/or discoloration of the scrotum, nausea, and vomiting. Approximately 40 percent of patients with testicular torsion reported having a similar pain sometime before, but at that time the pain resolved without treatment.