May also be called: Testis Torsion
Testicular torsion, or testis torsion, happens when the spermatic cord, which provides blood flow to the testicle, rotates and becomes twisted. The twisting cuts off the testicle's blood supply and causes sudden pain and swelling.
Many cases of testicular torsion are related to a genetic condition called bell clapper deformity, which causes the testicles to twist more easily because they're not attached normally to the scrotum.
Testicular torsion occurs most often in teenage boys. Surgery to fix it involves making a small cut in the scrotum, untwisting the spermatic cord, and stitching both testicles to the scrotum to prevent future twisting.
Testicular torsion is a medical emergency that must be treated immediately. Boys need to know that genital pain is serious and shouldn't be ignored. Ignoring pain for too long or simply hoping it goes away can result in severe damage to the testicle and even its removal.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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