January 15, 2013
Scrotum pain after playing football
M Bris writes Lifeline from Spanish Town with deep concern for her son who had emergency surgery in December. He is 17. She says he was playing football earlier in the afternoon and was alright. In the evening he started crying for pain in his scrotum which were swollen. He was taken to the family doctor.
The doctor said his testicle was twisted and sent him to hospital where some tests and a surgery was done. Ms B says he seems alright now but several people have told her that pain in the balls can lead to impotence. She is very worried for this is her one son and she would like to know that he will be happy in life and can have children. Ms. B. is asking Lifeline to let her know the truth!
Lifeline is happy to hear that the young man is well and has put his ordeal behind him. The experience he had is fairly typical of what occurs when a testicle becomes twisted in the scrotal sac. This is known of as testicular torsion and can have a happy or sad outcome based on how quickly the disorder is attended to.
There are times when men sit and watch and bear the pain for hours. This is when they are causing serious damage to occur as the condition is fully treatable without lasting consequences if surgery is performed EARLY.
Testicular torsion is a surgical emergency which occurs when the testicle becomes twisted on its "stalk", the spermatic cord and this twisting cuts off all blood flow and nourishment to the affected testicle. Testicular tissues cannot survive without proper blood flow.
Some men are predisposed to torsion because their scrotum has inadequate connective tissue
Trauma to the genitals
About 12 per cent of men have an anatomical deformity which allows the spermatic cord to twist more easily
There is often a history of preceding sporting activity
Testicular torsion can occur even in the mother's womb and is seen sometimes in the first year of life. Mostly it occurs between ages 12 to 18 years (the teenage years). Overall, most men experiencing this condition are under 30.
Excruciating unilateral scrotal pain
Nausea and vomiting
Lump in scrotum
Blood in semen
Sometimes the testicle 'twists' and then 'untwists' itself. Surgical attention is still necessary to fix the problem otherwise, the man is taking a chance with his testicle. If testicular torsion is released and repaired in less than six hours, up to 100 per cent of testicles can be saved to work in good order.
After 12 hours, only about 20 per cent can be saved and after 24 hours, the testicle is dead and cannot be saved. So, those men who sit down at home watching the situation and not wanting to visit the doctor are certainly causing a problem for themselves!
The good news is that many important organs in the human body are duplicated and luckily, these include the testes (testicles)! In the creation of offspring or in the matter of sexual potency, one good testicle works as well as two. Ms. B. should take heart that her son will not become impotent from his illness, and hopefully, if he was taken to the hospital in time, he will undergo no lasting side effects. THE ONLY TREATMENT FOR TESTICULAR TORSION IS SURGERY, and the earlier the better.
Write to: Lifeline:
PO Box 1731: