Testicular Torsion | Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of testicular torsion?

When a child has testicular torsion, he may have an enlarged, reddened and tender scrotum (the bag of skin hanging behind the penis). Older boys and young men, who develop torsion, may have symptoms, such as:

  • testicular pain
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Half of the time, boys who have testicular torsion have experienced previous episodes of testicular pain. 

What causes testicular torsion?

In general, testicular torsion accounts for about 40 percent of all cases of acute scrotal pain and swelling. It usually occurs during two time periods — at birth and during puberty — but it can occur at any age. Many boys and men who develop testicular torsion have an anatomic abnormality that causes the spermatic cord to twist more freely.

Newborn torsion, which accounts for 12 percent of all cases of testicular torsion, is usually discovered after the development of an enlarged, swollen and reddened scrotum. If this happens before birth, most likely the testicle cannot be saved, but a torsion occurring in the weeks after birth can potentially be untwisted if discovered in time.