Testicular torsion is when the spermatic cord, the bundle of tubes that run to and from the testicles, twists. When this happens, it cuts off the blood flow to the testicle. The testicle could die from lack of blood if the blood supply isn't restored within 6 hours. Torsion occurs when the tissues around the testicle are not attached well and allow twisting.
The most common sign of testicular torsion is sudden, severe pain on one side of the scrotum. The scrotum may be very tender, red, and swollen.
Testicular torsion is a medical emergency. If a person has any pain or discomfort in the testicle call your doctor right away – even if you don’t notice swelling or change in skin color.
It is possible to untwist the cord in the emergency room, but surgery is still needed. At surgery, the doctor will untwist the testicle and put in stitches to prevent future torsion. Often the doctor will put stitches in the other testicle to prevent future torsion.
If the testicle cannot be saved, the doctor will remove the testicle and sew stitches in the other testicle to prevent future torsion. This can only be determined at the time of surgery.
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