Testicular Torsion – A Convoluted Case

What do Chubby Checker and testicular torsion have in common? (Wikimedia photo)

The 14-year-old male patient complained of right lower quadrant pain which varied in intensity for 1 day. He denied nausea, vomiting or fever. The abdominal exam revealed bowel sounds and mild tenderness to palpation in the right lower quadrant without rebound. His abdominal ultrasound was inconclusive; the white blood cell count mildly elevated, and the urine microscopy normal. He was admitted for observation. Twelve hours later the patient developed a fever and severe groin pain. A genital exam revealed classic findings for testicular torsion. The testicle was not salvageable. Unfortunately, the patient was born monorchism and rendered sterile by the orchidectomy. The lesson from this case: always include a genital exam in patients with lower abdominal pain.

Can you rely on the history and physical exam to rule out testicular torsion? Is the testicle salvageable after 6 hours? Wrench yourself away from your music downloads and listen to the EM:RAP August podcast called Testicular Torsion by Rob Orman MD and Larry Mellick MD. Get an update and review on this twisted entity and you won’t spiral out of control when faced with the possibility.

Who Knew? “The Twist” is an American pop song written and originally released in 1959 by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters. It was made popular by Chubby Checker, an American rock n’ roll icon, who put his stamp on the song with the twist dance style.

So what do Chubby Checker and testicular torsion have in common? As Mr. Checker said, “Come on let’s twist again…”. Testicular torsion pain can come and go.

 

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