A teenager from Massachusetts was left with fractured testicles after a ball hit him in the groin during a lacrosse game.
The 17-year-old had reportedly not been been wearing a protective guard when the ball struck his scrotum at high speed, rupturing both his testicles.
Immediately after the incident, the injured teen suffered ‘significant scrotal pain’ and was subsequently removed from the game. However, following a brief rest, he was able to return to the pitch.
The wince-inducing case has since been documented in the medical journal Urology Case Reports, which detailed how the pain in the teenager’s scrotum worsened, leading to him seeking emergency assistance at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Following an ultrasound, medics found the teen’s blood flow to be normal, but noted that fluid had pooled around both testicles, meaning treatment was required.
The teenager was given a variety of options, which included surgery to drain the fluid. However, wanting to avoid surgery, he was instead admitted for overnight observation followed by a repeat ultrasound.
The next day, the second ultrasound revealed blood had continued to collect around his testes, meaning treatment known as ‘scrotal exploration’ would be necessary.
The operation involved medics repairing the testicles by patching up the outer layer in order to keep the contents firmly inside. Both testicles were found to have large anterior fractures, with some tissue having been forced out of position.
Medics were fortunately able to remove the damaged tissue before closing up the right testicle. However, the left testicle proved a bit trickier, with medics using a procedure known as ‘tunica vaginalis flap’ to repair the testicular rupture.
The mended testicles were eventually placed back in the scrotum in the correct position. The scrotum was then drained, before being closed up in multiple layers.
According to the study:
Blunt testicular rupture is a rare event that warrants rapid diagnosis and prompt surgical repair to maintain viable testicular tissue. Ultrasonography is the gold standard diagnostic tool with excellent sensitivity and specificity.
Scrotal exploration should be utilized in cases with high clinical concern for rupture even with ambiguous radiographic findings.
A tunica vaginalis flap can be considered to augment difficult repairs and thereby avoid significant testicular debridement, parenchymal loss, or orchiectomy. Sequelae of repaired testicular rupture, especially with regard to fertility, are not well understood.
You can see a picture of the ruptured testicles here. Warning – graphic image:
Details about the patient’s recovery process have not been made clear. However, the case report suggests the op was a success.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.