05 February 2014

Common testicular injuries

While damage to the testicles is, thankfully, rare, the recent case of the Pretoria testicle attacker shows that, when it does occur, the results can be harrowing.

The cheating husband in this case suffered a partial degloving, meaning his scrotum was torn away from his body, but not completely. He was treated with stitches and recovered. However, total degloving does happen and can be very hard to reverse. Here are some of the other common kinds of injuries that a gentleman can sustain to his gentleman's area.
Blunt injuries are the most common injuries and frequently result from motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and physical assault. Penetrative injuries are less common, but often more severe as they can result in severe bleeding and structural damage as well as introducing infection. Other injuries can result from infections or illness in other areas of the body that then spread to the scrotum.

As the testicles perform a limited but important role that isn’t replicated anywhere else in the body, damage to them should be taken seriously and medical attention sought.

Fracture: Severe blunt force or penetrative trauma can cause the testicular tissue to break, compromising the structural integrity of the affected teste. 

Dislocation: A strong force can cause a testicle to be pushed out of the scrotum into another area of the body. The affected testicle can end up in the abdomen or nestled above the penis.

Hematoceles: This occurs when blood pools under the testicle’s protective coating, often as a result of a rupture nearby.

Rupture: A penetrative injury can tear the tough layer protecting the testicle and cause damage to the teste itself.

Torsion: An injury to the scrotum can cause the blood vessels that supply the scrotum from the abdomen to become twisted, inhibiting or completely preventing the flow of blood to and from the scrotum. This can result in tissue damage and necrosis.

Contusion: If blood vessels in the scrotum are ruptured, the testicles can experience bruising.

Infections: Lacerations, parasites and animal bites can cause the testicles to become infected. This usually manifests itself with pain and inflammation.

Epididymitis: The epididymis is a tube that carries sperm from the testicles, where it is produced, to the penis. An injury cause this tube to become ruptured or bruised, resulting in inflammation or infection. 

Sources: WebMD, MedScape, News24

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