Testicular torsion is a twisting of the spermatic cord that results in obstruction of the blood vessels supplying the testis and epididymis. It can occur during activities or at rest, even while asleep. Torsion is more common in children, but accounts for 20% of acute scrotal pathology in post-pubertal males. Testicular torsion and epididymitis, a condition caused by infection, are the most common causes of acute scrotal pain in young men. Differentiating between torsion and epididymitis is often difficult on physical examination, and an ultrasound may be performed to determine whether the blood flow is obstructed.
Torsion is a urological emergency which presents a brief window of opportunity for reversal. Negligent failure to properly diagnose and promptly treat a testicular injury can result in catastrophic consequences for a young man including loss of a testicle, permanent disfigurement and possibly infertility. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of testicular torsion is essential for testicular salvage. If the diagnosis is in doubt, an emergency scrotal exploration should be undertaken as it is far better to have the urologist explore the scrotum and find epididymitis than to delay and lose a testicle. Medical research shows that if surgery is performed within 12 hours after the onset of symptoms, the testis can be saved in about 70% of cases. Delayed treatment can result in a much lower salvage rate, decreased fertility and testicle loss. Nevertheless, many young men are left waiting in Emergency Rooms while time slips away and the window of opportunity for reversal closes.
The attorneys at Burnside Law Firm LLP have experience representing young men who suffer testicular torsion but have been misdiagnosed or do not receive prompt medical treatment. To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim due to testicular loss or decreased fertility, please contact a lawyer at the law firm of Burnside Law Firm for a free consultation.
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