Testicular Torsion Lawyers
Testicular torsion is a twisting of the spermatic cord that brings blood to the scrotum (1). The reduced blood flow causes sudden and often severe pain and swelling. Failure to timely diagnose and treat testicular torsion can lead to various complications, including damage to the testicle, death of the testicle, or even the inability to father children.
If a medical care provider makes a mistake and fails to provide an accurate and timely diagnosis, and appropriate treatment, it may be possible to pursue a legal claim for damages.
What is Testicular Torsion?
Each testicle is attached to the spermatic cord and the scrotum. Testicular torsion happens if the testicle rotates on the cord that runs upward from the testicle into the abdomen. The rotation twists the spermatic cord and reduces blood flow. The reduced blood flow causes sudden and often severe pain and swelling. If the testicle rotates several times, blood flow can be entirely blocked, causing damage more quickly (2).
Testicular torsion usually requires emergency surgery. If treated quickly, the testicle can usually be saved. But when blood flow has been cut off for too long, a testicle might become so badly damaged that it has to be removed.
Testicular torsion is most common between ages 12 and 18, but it can occur at any age, even before birth.
Signs and Symptoms
Young boys who have testicular torsion typically wake up in the middle of the night, or early in the morning, due to pain in the scrotum. The child will experience sudden onset pain and swelling in one of the testicles. Nausea and vomiting are common, as are light-headedness or fainting. The parent or child may notice a lump in the scrotum and blood in the semen. The affected testicle (it is more often the right testicle than the left) may be elevated. Other signs of testicular torsion include (3):
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent urination
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sudden, severe pain in the scrotum (the loose bag of skin under the penis that contains the testicles)
- Swelling of the scrotum
- Testicle that is positioned higher than normal or at an unusual angle
Seek Emergency Care
Seek emergency care if you or a loved on is experiencing sudden or severe testicle pain. Surgical correction usually is needed, and the sooner the better. If surgery is performed within six hours, the testicle can usually be saved. Prompt treatment can prevent severe damage or loss of a testicle if you have testicular torsion. If too much time passes, the testicle may shrink and require removal. This can happen months or weeks after the torsion event. Severe infection also can occur if the normal blood flow was cut off for a long period (4).
You also need to seek prompt medical help if you’ve had sudden testicle pain that goes away without treatment. This can occur when a testicle twists and then untwists on its own. Surgery is frequently needed to prevent the problem from happening again.
Causes & Complications
It’s not entirely clear why testicular torsion occurs. Most males who get testicular torsion have an inherited trait that allows the testicle to rotate freely inside the scrotum. This inherited condition often affects both testicles, but not every male with the trait will have testicular torsion. Testicular torsion often occurs:
- After a minor injury to the testicles
- During puberty
- Several hours after vigorous activity
- While sleeping
When testicular torsion is not treated for several hours, blocked blood flow can cause injury and permanent damage to the testicle. If the testicle is badly damaged, it has to be surgically removed. In some cases, damage or loss of a testicle affects a man’s ability to father children. It is important to seek medical help immediately to prevent any of these complications from occurring.
Getting an accurate and timely diagnosis, and urgent treatment, can prevent serious complications from occurring. When a doctor failed to diagnose testicular torsion or failed to recommend immediate action, it may be possible to pursue a claim for testicular torsion. If you or a loved one are suffering from a complication that occurred from misdiagnosis of testicular torsion, contact our team of attorneys at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt today by filling out our form or calling 1-800-590-4116. We are hard-working lawyers for hard-working people.