Testicular torsion occurs when the testicle rotates on the spermatic cord, which brings blood to the testicle from the abdomen. If the testicle rotates several times, blood flow to it can be entirely blocked, causing damage more quickly.
It's not 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 several hours after vigorous activity, a minor injury to the testicles or sleep. Cold temperature or rapid growth of the testicle during puberty also might play a role.
Feb. 04, 2016
- Wein AJ, et al. Abnormalities of the testis and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 13, 2015.
- Somani BK, et al. Testicular torsion. BMJ. 2010;341:c3213.
- Cubillos J, et al. Familial testicular torsion. Journal of Urology. 2011;185:2469.
- Hittelman AB. Neonatal testicular torsion. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 16, 2015.
- Snyder HM, et al. In utero/neonatal torsion: Observation versus prompt exploration. Journal of Urology. 2010;183:1675.
- Roth CC, et al. Salvage of bilateral asynchronous perinatal testicular torsion. Journal of Urology. 2011;185:2464.
- Eyre RC. Evaluation of the acute scrotum in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 16, 2015.