Testicular torsion occurs when the testicle, normally attached to the scrotum by a small ligament at its base, becomes loose. The testicle can then twist on itself, cutting off its flow of blood. Testicular torsion is considered an emergency. Surgery is usually required, and it should be performed within about 5 hours from the onset of symptoms to save the testicle.
Update Date 10/2/2013
Updated by: Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.