Testicular torsion overview

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Steven C. Campbell, M.D., Ph.D.


In testicular torsion the spermatic cord that provides the blood supply to a testicle is twisted, cutting off the blood supply, often causing orchalgia. Prolonged testicular torsion will result in the death of the testicle and surrounding tissues.

It is also believed that torsion occurring during fetal development can lead to the so-called neonatal torsion or vanishing testis, and is one of the causes of an infant being born with monorchism.


Some men may be predisposed to testicular torsion as a result of inadequate connective tissue within the scrotum. However, the condition can result from trauma to the scrotum, particularly if significant swelling occurs. It may also occur after strenuous exercise or may not have an obvious cause.

Epidemiology and Demographics

While torsion is more frequent among adolescents, it should be considered in all cases where there is testicular pain. Torsion occurs more frequently in patients who do not have evidence of inflammation or infection.


Laboratory Findings

Urinalysis (analyzing chemical composition of urine) can be used to rule out bacterial infections.


Primary Prevention

Use precautions to avoid trauma to the scrotum. Many cases are not preventable.


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