Pediatric Testicular Torsion

Pediatric Testicular Torsion

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Summary

Testicular torsion means that a testicle has rotated, which twists the cord that brings blood to the scrotum (pouch of skin that holds the testicles).

Expanded overview

Testicular torsion occurs when a testicle rotates, which twists the spermatic cord that carries blood to the scrotum. This reduced blood flow causes sudden, often severe pain and swelling. When this condition is treated quickly, the testicle can usually be saved. However, if blood flow has been cut off for too long, damage occurs and the testicle may have to be removed.

Causes

Testicular torsion usually occurs in males due to rapid growth during puberty (between the ages of 12 and 16*), but it can occur at any age, even before birth. It can also occur following an injury to the groin area. Sometimes the cause is unknown.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of testicular torsion include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Pain when urinating
  • Sudden, severe pain in the scrotum
  • Swelling of the scrotum
  • Testicle that is positioned higher than usual, or at an abnormal angle

*Age of puberty is middle childhood to teenage years as defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

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