Most people don't know that 4 out of 10 young men who have testicular torsion will lose the affected testicle. Testicular torsion causes testicular pain. If you have it without getting medical care within a given time period, you could lose the testicle.
Many hospitals have plans in place to minimize the possible loss of testicles when a patient has torsion. We've learned from patients that seek care for torsion in its late stages that they've never heard of it before. Too many patients are not aware that testicular pain may be caused by torsion, and that prompt aid is needed to save the testicle.
Many young men feel insecure or ashamed when they get testicular pain. If they're unaware of how dire this condition is, they will try to "wait it out." This decision could lead to the loss of the testicle.
We've come up with the phrase "the patient is the gatekeeper for testicular torsion". Spreading awareness of testicular torsion should take place with talks at schools, sports teams and social media. These awareness efforts could raise the chances to save testicles.
In 2015, the Urology Care Foundation, Nemours KidsHealth.org and YoungMensHealthSite.org, held a Tweet Chat on testicular torsion. During this chat on Twitter, young men and parents could ask questions, and read tweets about torsion and the need for prompt urological care and action.
This was a well-attended and informative event. Social media is a much needed tool to help reach young men and their families about urology health.
T. Ernesto Figueroa, MD, is Division Chief, Division of Pediatric Urology, Department of Surgery in the Nemours Children's Health System in the greater Philadelphia area.