Get access

Testicular torsion: Potential pitfalls in its diagnosis and management


Professor Spencer W Beasley, Department of Paediatric Surgery, Christchurch Hospital, Private Bag 4710, Christchurch 4710, New Zealand. Tel: +64 3 364 0432; Fax: +64 3 364 0352; email:


Torsion of the testis is a surgical emergency. Within the paediatric population, peaks in incidence occur in the perinatal and adolescent age groups. There exist traps that can make torsion of the testis a difficult diagnosis to make and once made a tricky condition to manage, in some instances. It is becoming clear that perinatal torsion should serve as an umbrella term for what is increasingly being regarded as two separate entities: prenatal and post-natal torsion. Evidence suggests that the management for each of these may be different. While management of testicular torsion in the adolescent is universally agreed upon, the diagnosis can sometimes be difficult to make. This notwithstanding, early diagnosis is imperative for ensuring the best possible outcome.