Within the scrotum, the testicles are secured by a structure called the spermatic cord, which contains an anchoring tissue called the gubernaculum at the lower part of the testicle. Sometimes, this cord gets twisted around a testicle, cutting off the blood supply. Symptoms of testicular torsion include sudden and severe pain, enlargement of the affected testicle, tenderness, and swelling.
This condition, which occurs most often in males who are under age 25, is usually due to the congenital absence of the gubernaculum, which would otherwise keep the testicle from twisting on the spermatic cord. Torsion may also occur following an injury to the testicles, strenuous activity, or simply rolling over in bed.
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Testicular torsion requires immediate medical attention. Treatment usually involves correction of the problem through surgery. Testicular function may be saved if the condition is diagnosed and corrected immediately. If the blood supply to the testicle is cut off for a long period of time, the testicle can become permanently damaged and may need to be removed.