Testicular torsion or testicular torsion: symptoms, treatment

Testicular torsion, also called testicular torsion, involves twisting of the testicle/testicle, causing the blood vessels in the spermatic cord (above the testicle) to become pinched. What is the cause and how do you recognize testicular torsion? It mainly occurs in boys/men between the ages of twelve and eighteen, but can also occur at other ages. It is very important to take immediate action if you suspect torsion.

Article content

  • Testicle
  • Testicular torsion (torsio testis)
  • What exactly happens with testicular torsion?
  • Causes of testicular torsion
  • Symptoms of testicular torsion (torsio testis)
  • Diagnosis testicular torsion
  • Treatment of testicular torsion
  • Prognosis testicular torsion (torsio testis)


The testicle, also called testicle or testis, is part of the male sexual organs. The testes often descend before birth, from the abdominal cavity, through the inguinal canal to the scrotum. The epididymis is located at the top and back of the testicle. The testes hang in the scrotum on a spermatic cord. From puberty onwards the testes produce testosterone. This is a male sex hormone and promotes the development of secondary and tertiary sexual characteristics: beard growth, male hair, lower voice. Sperm cells also grow in the testes, and they end up through tubes in the epididymis.

Testicular torsion (torsio testis)

In testicular torsion, also called testicular torsion, a twisting of the testicle and spermatic cord causes acute pain because the blood vessels become pinched. It mainly occurs in boys/men between the ages of twelve and eighteen, but can occur at other ages. Heredity and lifestyle do not play a significant role.

What exactly happens with testicular torsion?

The testes are located in the scrotum (ball sac) and are attached to a spermatic cord. The spermatic cord contains the vas deferens and the blood vessels for the testicle. If the cord is twisted, the supply of blood to the testicle is obstructed and this causes very severe pain in the scrotum. A twist usually occurs in one testicle.

Causes of testicular torsion

A twisting of the testicle sometimes occurs when someone has made a lot of effort, but it can also happen just like that , even during a night’s sleep. A torsion mainly occurs in young adults, in men whose testicles had not descended at birth. Once you have suffered from torsion, you are more likely to develop it in the other testicle as well.

Symptoms of testicular torsion (torsio testis)

The symptoms usually occur acutely :

  • Sudden sharp pain in the scrotum;
  • Pain in the groin area;
  • Pain in the lower part of the abdomen;
  • A feeling of nausea, vomiting;
  • Redness of the scrotum;
  • Swelling of the scrotum;
  • The scrotum can be very sensitive;
  • Sometimes an increased body temperature.

Diagnosis testicular torsion

The doctor may order an ultrasound to rule out other conditions with the same symptoms. Consider, for example, epididymo-orchitis (inflamed testis).

Treatment of testicular torsion

  • call a doctor immediately if you suspect torsion ! Testicular torsion is dangerous! If not acted urgently, injury to the testicle will occur.
  • The doctor may try to turn the testicle back to remove the torsion. If this does not work, you will be referred to the hospital. There the testicle is reversed via a minor surgical procedure. Then both testicles are attached to the scrotum with stitches. This is to prevent recurrence.
  • The spermatic cord may spontaneously loosen again. Then go to the doctor, even if the complaints have disappeared. This is due to the risk of recurrence.

Prognosis testicular torsion (torsio testis)

If the spermatic cord is reversed within six to eight hours, there is basically no permanent damage. If the spermatic cord is permanently damaged, the testicle will be removed. In principle, this has no influence on fertility. The other testicle produces sufficient sperm. A removed testicle can be replaced with an implant (cosmetic procedure).