Testicular Trauma

Direct trauma to the male genitalia can result in an extremely painful and potentially serious injury. In most cases, the injury is similar to other soft tissue injuries with associated pain and swelling. However, severe trauma may lead to a twisting of the testes or testicular rupture, both of which require immediate medical attention.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Excruciating pain, which fortunately lasts only a few minutes.
  • Athlete may experience nausea from the pain.

On-Site Management

Place Athlete in Position of Comfort. In many cases, the athlete will lie on his back and bring his knees to his chest. Once in this position, the athlete should remain there until comfortable. This will reduce the pressure.

Ice. Although unpleasant, ice should be applied at 10-minute intervals to control swelling (i.e. 10 minutes on / 10 minutes off).

Determine Position of Testes. This is best and most discreetly done by the athlete himself.

Medical Referral. If pain and discomfort continue for more than five minutes or if both testicles are not readily apparent in the scrotal sac, immediate referral to a physician is necessary.

Note: The act of "dropping" the athlete to the ground in a sitting position is often utilized with the intent to reduce the muscle spasm of the scrotal sac. This should only be attempted if the athlete is able to assume a sitting position and if the athlete can determine that the testicles are in fact located within the scrotal sac and do not seem to be twisted.

Return to Activity

Athletes can often "walk it off" in five or so minutes and then return to participation.

Prevention

  • Jockstrap with protective cup should be worn for all contact sports.

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