Testicular torsion: misdiagnosis and malpractice

Testicular torsion is a rare but painful condition that is often misdiagnosed by medical professionals. If left untreated, the torsion may worsen until the patient’s testicle must be surgically removed. Minority children are particularly likely to suffer delayed diagnoses, leading to permanent, irreparable harm. Read below for more information about testicular torsion and the correlation between race and misdiagnoses.

What is testicular torsion?

Testicular torsion occurs when the testicle rotates inside the scrotum and twists around the spermatic cord, cutting off blood flow. This can cause the testicle to swell suddenly and become very painful. If blood flow is not restored, the testicle will begin to atrophy and die, eventually requiring surgical removal.

Testicular torsion occurs primarily in young men and children under age 25. Only one in about 4,000 males experience testicular torsion. Unfortunately, the rarity of the condition often leads healthcare providers to overlook the warnings signs.

Misdiagnoses in minorities

Though testicular torsion symptoms go overlooked in many patients, studies show that minority patients are particularly likely to suffer misdiagnoses and testicle loss. One recent article explained that African Americans are significantly more likely to suffer testicle loss in testicular torsion cases.

The correlation between race and testicular torsion misdiagnosis likely speaks to a larger problem of healthcare providers dismissing the concerns of minority patients. According to recent articles in the New York Times, minority patients often receive lower-quality medical care, and Black children in particular are significantly more likely to die in surgery than white children.

It is important to know the symptoms of testicular torsion. Sudden, severe scrotum pain, swelling of the scrotum, and abdominal pain can all be warning signs of the condition. If you suspect testicular torsion, insist upon adequate testing—usually an ultrasound—to confirm or rule out the diagnosis.

If your loved one suffered permanent injury from misdiagnosed or overlooked testicular torsion, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Call the Nashville medical malpractice attorneys at David Randolph Smith for a free evaluation of your testicular torsion lawsuit.

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