What is Testicular Torsion?
A testicular torsion is when the spermatic cord that leads to a testicle twists or flips around, cutting off the blood supply to the testicle and scrotum. If a torsion is not diagnosed or treated right away, it could lead to loss of the testicle and possibly sterility or not being able to father a child or impregnate.
Torsion is most commonly seen in young males or adolescent males with approximately 65 percent of the cases affecting males in between 12 - 18 years old. Statistics show that testicular torsion occurs in about 1 in 160 males or 1 in 4000 boys per year before the age of 25.
What Causes Testicular Torsion?
Testicular torsion can be caused by:
- A congenital or birth defect (when one or both of the testes do not descend all the way)
- Inadequate connective tissue
- Trauma to the scrotum
- Sports injuries
- "Winter syndrome" (when the scrotum is abruptly exposed to cold air)
What Are the Symptoms of Testicular Torsion?
In adolescents and men, symptoms of a testicular torsion are:
- An acute or a sudden feeling of intense pain or tenderness in the testicle
- Possibly a palpable lump
- Swelling of the scrotum
- Blood in semen
Because many of the symptoms of a testicular torsion are similar to an infection or epididymitis, many testicular torsions go undiagnosed and the patient is just treated for an infection or sexually transmitted disease.
How Can You Diagnose For Testicular Torsion?
If a male presents to a physician or the emergency room with testicular pain, they should be evaluated to rule out a testicular torsion. In general, a Doppler ultrasound that shows blood flow should be performed in addition to a history and physical and tests to rule out an infection. If there is no blood flow seen on the Doppler study and a testicular torsion is diagnosed, surgical de-torsion or de-rotation may be necessary.
Why Is Early Diagnosis Of Testicular Torsion So Important?
A prompt diagnosis and treatment of a testicular torsion may save the testicle in a high number of cases. In some cases, the testicle may untwist on its own or be manually untwisted by a physician or urologist. If treatment is rendered within 6 hours of the onset of the torsion, the testicle has an excellent chance (90%) of being saved. If 12 hours have passed, the success rate drops to 50% and after 24 hours there is only a 10% chance of saving the testicle.
Once the testicle is dead, it must be removed to prevent an infection or gangrene. In some patients, a lack of blood flow to the testicle or ischemia can cause an anti-sperm antibody production that could result in sterility or inability to father a child.
Contact a Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Law Firm
Testicular torsions can happen in the absence of medical negligence. However, once torsion occurs, it must be promptly diagnosed and treated to preserve the testicle and future reproductive ability. If you or a loved one developed a testicular torsion and there was a delay in diagnosing the torsion that led to the loss of a testicle or sterility, please feel free to contact one of our experienced lawyers, doctors or nurses at (215) 866-2424 for a confidential and free consultation.
At the Beasley Law Firm, LLC, we have received numerous million and multi-million verdicts and settlements on behalf of our injured clients. Jim Beasley Jr., has been consistently listed in Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers year after year. Not only has the Beasley Firm been awarded over $2 billion dollars on behalf of their clients, we have also obtained two of the highest medical malpractice verdicts in Pennsylvania History.
Contact our experienced team of attorneys to discuss your options today!