What are the causes of testicular torsion?

Updated: Aug 31, 2018
  • Author: Oreoluwa I Ogunyemi, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
  • Print
Answer

Testicular torsion is caused by twisting of the spermatic cord and the blood supply to the testicle (see the image below). With mature attachments, the tunica vaginalis is attached securely to the posterior lateral aspect of the testicle, and, within it, the spermatic cord is not very mobile. If the attachment of the tunica vaginalis to the testicle is inappropriately high, the spermatic cord can rotate within it, which can lead to intravaginal torsion. This defect is referred to as the bell clapper deformity. This occurs in about 17% of males [4] and is bilateral in 40%.

Intravaginal torsion most commonly occurs in adolescents. It is thought that the increased weight of the testicle after puberty, as well as sudden contraction of the cremasteric muscles (which inserts in a spiral fashion into the spermatic cord), is the impetus for acute torsion. [4]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!