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Rady Children's Specialists

Testicular Torsion

What is testicular torsion?

Testicular torsion occurs when the testicle twists on its own blood supply, causing blood flow to be cut off to the testicle.

What are signs/symptoms of testicular torsion?

Testicular torsion can cause acute onset pain and swelling of the testicle. The testicle may become very firm and appear red. Some children may also complain of abdominal pain, begin vomiting or have difficulty walking because the pain is so severe.

What causes testicular torsion?

Some testicles are more prone to torsion based on their configuration. The twisting, however can occur at any time, even during sleep. It is important to be evaluated as soon as possible as the testicle cannot survive if it is deprived of blood flow for greater than six to eight hours.

What tests are done to look for testicular torsion?

Testicular torsion is first evaluated with an emergent examination of the area. Scrotal ultrasound is also used to evaluate the testicle and the presence or absence of flow to the testicle. If you suspect your child has testicular torsion, bring him/her to the emergency department right away.

How is testicular torsion treated?

The treatment for testicular torsion is surgical. If the problem is recognized early, the testicle can be untwisted in the operating room and stitched down into place. If the testicle appears dead, then it is removed in the operating room.