Every man knows it's excruciatingly painful getting hit in the groin, but is there ever a time when he truly should be concerned?
A sudden onset of severe pain that lasts more than an hour can signal testicular torsion, when the testicle rotates and the spermatic cord becomes twisted. The torsion cuts off blood flow to the testicle, leading to extreme pain and swelling.
Testicular torsion can be a result of an inherited trait, commonly seen in males ages 10 to 25, or the condition can be caused by trauma to the area.
- Severe pain in the scrotum
- Swollen or enlarged scrotum
- Pain in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
“[The testicle has] got to be untwisted within six hours, and, if this is done, the testicle will survive,” urologic surgeon Dr. Dudley Danoff says. “If you wait 24 hours, you will, for sure, have a dead testicle.”
Testicular torsion requires surgical treatment to correct and prevent future torsions. The surgery, generally performed with the patient under anesthesia, requires a small incision in the scrotum. The spermatic cord is then untwisted, and one or both testicles are stitched to the scrotum to prevent rotation.
"If you experience a direct blow to your testicles, the pain should subside within an hour,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork explains. “You can apply cold compresses and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. But if the pain gets worse, definitely go to the emergency room.”