As BP South Side’s resident medical expert, I’ve been asked to write about or at least help explain numerous injuries and surgeries that happen throughout the long baseball season. Yes, technically I’m a doctor of animals, but a body is a body and I can tell you when and what parts of a knee have blown out as it happens. Shoulders falling apart? I’m your man. I never expected I would be writing about testicular torsion, but apparently there’s a time for everything.
Jose Abreu has been on the shelf recently due to what was initially described as emergency lower abdomen surgery. While we waited for more details, I started thinking of potential differential diagnoses. Herniation, torn oblique, shattered coccyx. I did not once think testicular torsion.
So what is testicular torsion? Testicular torsion occurs when one (or both) of the testicles twists around itself (usually rotating inwards), resulting in a compression of blood flow through the spermatic vasculature. Think of it as a kinked garden hose: when you obstruct the passageway, you get back up and increased pressure as well as devitalization. This is an absolute surgical emergency as well as a tremendously painful condition. The good news is that it’s fixable and from everything we’ve heard, Jose should recover just fine with a bit more time away from playing. We wish him all the best in his recovery.
Photo credit: Rick Osentoski- USA Today