One out of every 4,000 males under 25 years of age experiences a medical condition known as testicular torsion. The most commonly affected age group is 12 to 16 but the condition can occur at any age. The hallmark of testicular torsion is a sudden onset of severe pain to a testicle particularly without an obvious reason. The pain is caused by a twisting of the spermatic cord resulting in blood supply to the testicle being reduced or eliminated entirely. The doctor can sometimes reestablish blood flow by untwisting the spermatic cord but surgery should still be performed to prevent a reoccurrence.
The most important thing to know is anyone who experiences a sudden onset of severe testicular pain should seek medical attention immediately. The patient’s prognosis is highly dependent on the speed at which blood flow is restored. If blood flow is restored within 6 hours the risk of losing a testicle is only 5 percent. The risk goes to 90 percent when treatment is delayed for more than 48 hours.