Children - Testicular Torsion

Testicular appendage torsion is the twisting of a small piece of tissue above a testicle. The appendage doesn’t have a function in the body. But it can twist and cause pain and swelling that gets worse over time. It is not the same as testicular torsion. It is not a medical emergency.

What causes testicular appendage torsion?

Torsion can happen at any time. It’s most likely to happen during sleep. When the appendage gets twisted, it cuts off its own blood supply. This doesn’t cause any serious damage. Boys who haven’t yet reached puberty are most at risk.

Is it the same as testicular torsion?

Testicular appendage torsion is not the same thing as testicular torsion. Testicular torsion is the twisting of the testicle. This is a medical emergency. The torsion causes a loss of blood supply to the testicle. Surgery is needed right away to prevent permanent damage. The symptoms can be similar in both conditions. But the pain of testicular torsion is often more severe.

Symptoms of testicular appendage torsion

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain in one testicle, on one side of the scrotum

  • Swelling and redness of the scrotum

  • Scrotum that’s sore to the touch

  • A hard lump at the top of the scrotum

  • A blue dot at the top of the scrotum. This shows that the twist is in the appendage, not the testicle.

How is testicular appendage torsion diagnosed?

Your child’s health care provider will ask about his medical history and symptoms. He will be given a physical exam. He may also have tests such as:

  • Urine test. This is to check for other possible causes of scrotal pain such as infection.

  • Imaging test of your scrotum. This may include a radionuclide scan or an ultrasound.

In some cases, your child may need surgery right away if it appears your child may have testicular torsion. This is to help prevent severe problems. During surgery, the health care provider will be able to see if the condition is testicular appendage torsion.

Treatments

Treatment for testicular appendage torsion includes:

  • Rest

  • Raising the area to help ease swelling

  • Over-the-counter pain medicine

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