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Clinical Negligence and Testicular Torsion

Testicular Torsion, also known as a twisted testicle (testis), is considered a medical emergency and if untreated in a timely manner may result in the testicle dying and the subsequent removal of the testicle.

Ordinarily, the two testicles (testes) lie within the scrotum. The testicles are connected to the abdomen and the rest of the body via a blood vessel known as the spermatic cord. Each testicle is then connected to the spermatic cord by vessels and nerves.

Torsion of the testicle occurs when the testicle rotates and traps the spermatic cord. The testicle may twist only slightly or several times around the cord and the more twisted the quicker the testicle loses its blood supply.

Most commonly testicular torsion occurs after puberty although it can affect adolescent boys and men of all ages.

If treatment is not sought the loss of blood supply to the testis will result in the testicle potentially dying.

Symptoms of Testicular Torsion

Some of the symptoms that may present include:-

  • New severe pain – this can develop more suddenly following physical exertion or at night during sleep.
  • The pain lasts longer than an hour and the pain is continuous despite limited movement or resting.
  • Swelling
  • Alongside the pain in the testicle, there may be new pain in your stomach region as well as nausea or vomiting.
  • Blood in the semen.
  • Lumps in the scrotal sac.

Seeking medical assistance

The NHS advises any sudden pain in the testicle should be considered a potential medical emergency.

As a general rule if the testicle has twisted:-

  • 90% chance of saving the testicle within 4-6 hours
  • 50% chance within 12 hours
  • 10% chance after 24 hours

Therefore, your local GP should be seen immediately, an ambulance called or a visit to an A and E Department.


If it is confirmed there is a testicular torsion an operation under general anaesthetic is required.  During the operation a small incision is made in the scrotum and the affected testicle and spermatic cord are untwisted. The sooner the operation takes place the more likely the outcome will be positive.

Testicular Torsion and Clinical Negligence

If you or a loved one have experienced testicular torsion and a delay in receiving treatment or misdiagnosis of your condition then this may give rise to a clinical negligence claim if this has resulted in the loss of a testicle or complications that arise following this.

If you have suffered testicular torsion and consider there was a delay in diagnosis then contact the Medical Negligence Team here at Wilson Browne on 0800 088 6004


Katherine Cairns


Katherine Cairns


Katherine is a Solicitor within the Medical Negligence Team.