Testicular Torsion - Know the Signs

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A twisted testicle, more accurately described as testicular torsion, is a painful experience but the effects can be long lasting if medical treatment is not administered as quickly as possible. Testicular Torsion is a medical emergency; there is a short window to treat before permanent damage occurs.

Testicular torsion occurs when the spermatic cord twists cutting off the testicle's blood supply. This condition mainly affects infants or teenagers but can occur in men of all ages. The main symptom is rapid onset of pain in the testicle and swelling of the scrotum. It is important to seek urgent treatment because if the blood supply is cut off from the testicle for too long then the testicle may be permanently damaged and can result in the loss of a testes.

Know the signs

  • Typically there is sudden, severe pain in one testes;
  • There may be lower abdominal pain;
  • Pain often comes on during sports or physical activity;
  • There could be a history of brief episodes of similar pain having previously occurred. This is believed to be torsion that has corrected itself;
  • Nausea and vomiting are often present;
  • Easing of the pain is not necessarily a good sign, as pain also eases as necrosis (the death of most or all of the cells in an organ or tissue) sets in.

If you are concerned about any of the above signs seek medical attention immediately and discuss testicular torsion.

Diagnosis can usually be made on the basis of the history of the symptoms and a physical examination. A Doppler Ultrasound scan can also assist in making the diagnosis.

Surgery is usually required to untwist the testicle, and the surgeon will also tether the testicle to the scrotum (in order to prevent the risk of torsion occurring again.) If treated within 6 hours, there is a high chance of saving the testicle. If left for longer than 24 hours there is little chance of saving it.

It may be possible to make a medical negligence claim, if there has been a delay or misdiagnosis of testicular torsion, or a delay in providing treatment.

For confidential advice on how to make a medical negligence claim for diagnosis and treatment errors contact us on 0113 284 5000 or clinneg@isonharrison.co.uk

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