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Twisting of the spermatic cord - Definition


Testicular torsion defines the twisting of the spermatic cord, which is the organ linking the testicle to the rest of the reproductive organ. This condition manifests abruptly with sudden, severe pain in the scrotum region of one testicle, and a significant increase in the testicle's size, with the pain sometimes making it impossible to walk and causing nausea and vomiting. When testicular torsion is suspected, it must be treated rapidly in order to avoid necrosis and total loss of function of the testicle. Surgery is necessary in order to open the scrotum and untwist the spermatic cord. If treated early, the tissue returns to normal appearance, which is a sign of normal testicular function. In these cases, the testicle is fixed in place to prevent another episode of torsion from occurring, called orchidopexy. If the tissue does not return to normal aspect, it is a sign of necrosis, and the testicle must be removed, called orchiectomy. In both cases, the testicle on the other side of the scrotum is also surgically fixed in place.