Testicular torsion happens when a testicle gets twisted, blocking off the blood vessels and starving it of blood. If the testicle cannot receive blood, along with the oxygen and nutrients blood contains, it may die.
This condition can affect any male at any time in life but most commonly occurs during puberty between the ages of 10 and 15 years.
The symptoms of the condition gradually appear over a few hours with testicular pain, usually on one side more than the other, and may also be associated with redness or abnormal positioning of the testicle.
There are several other conditions of the testicle that have similar symptoms such as cysts or mumps. There is no good test to tell them apart but some special centres may use ultrasound machines.
It is therefore important for people who get sudden testicular pain to see a doctor as an emergency. In many cases the doctors may decide to do an operation to look at the testicle and see if it is twisted and fix it as required.
In most cases, testicles are healthy at the time of operation but in a significant minority the testicle is already dead. If this is the case the doctors will have to remove the dead testicle and will usually fix the other side so that this condition cannot also occur there.
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