Open Accessibility Menu

Testicular Torsion

Testicular torsion is an uncommon yet serious condition most often seen in adolescent males or young men. The spermatic cord, which becomes twisted, is supposed to connect each testicle to the reproductive organs. It contains blood vessels, nerves, and vas deferens, which is the tube that carries sperm. Because the spermatic cord becomes twisted, blood supply is cut off to the affected testicle, causing intense scrotal pain. Testicular torsion is a medical emergency, as loss of blood flow to the testicle for even a few hours can cause testicle death or permanent damage. Torsion can cause sterility in men who do not seek immediate medical treatment.


Surgery is often recommended to correct the twisted spermatic cord. If you experience sudden and severe pain in your scrotum, go to the closest emergency room for evaluation and treatment. A surgical approach is necessary to untwist the spermatic cord and restore blood flow to the testicle. To save the affected testis, surgery within five or six hours of onset of symptoms is recommended to try to prevent permanent damage. Left untreated for more than 12+ hours, complete removal of the affected testicle (orchiectomy) may be necessary for irreparable damage.

Torsion surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia either in the hospital or in one of our ambulatory surgery centers. During the operation, the surgeon makes a small incision in the scrotum to access the spermatic cord and testicle to untwist it and restore its proper placement. Then testicle is stitched inside the scrotum to ensure torsion will not recur. The unaffected testicle is usually fixed with stitches, as well.

Recovery requires rest and avoiding strenuous exercise for several weeks. Typically, patients can resume everyday activities within one week. Prescription pain medication can help control any pain at the surgical site.