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The fractured penis

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It is inconceivable to some that the penis can be fractured. The term refers to the tearing of the tough outer covering of the cylinders that causes an erection. If you remember, several months ago I discussed the male erection at length. I explained that blood flows into two confined cylinders that make up the erectile tissues. I also explained that these cylinders are very spongy and vascular on the inside and have a tough unforgiving outer shell, which is flexible and bendable when flaccid, but rigid and unforgiving when erect.{{more}} It’s like the material used to make an inflatable object, like a dinghy. When inflated, the dinghy is almost indestructible with respect to blunt objects, but when not inflated, can be folded up.

A fractured penis occurs when the rigid penis is suddenly and forcibly bent during intercourse. Rarely, some men report that it happened when sleeping, when they turn on an erect penis during a wet dream! The most common position reported when the fracture occurred during intercourse is the famed “doggy style”. In this position the man thrusts from behind the woman, but if he does not control her pelvis or move in unison with hers, then the erect penis misses “the mark” and hits her perineum or buttock. Obviously, fractures can occur with other positions, but the “doggy style” is the most common.

How do you know that you have fractured your penis? Most men report a dramatic occurrence. The story is of one making love to his partner, when a sudden “snapping” sound occurs mid-thrust, usually when the penis hits an unintended part of the female body. A short sharp pain and sudden swelling of the penis follows this. The pain is usually not intense, but the snapping sound is characteristic. The penis fills with “bruise blood”, as the blood confined within the rigid erectile cylinder now “leaks out” through the “crack” or tear in the tough cylinder tissue into the surrounding soft skin tissues. The penis becomes hugely swollen and deformed. If the tear is small, then the swelling is localized to one area of the penis; but larger tears (1cm or more) cause massive and global swelling and deformity of the penis. Obviously, the penis cannot get erect once it is fractured, so along with the swelling, deformity and bruising, the man loses his erection. Actually, if he tries to have one (e.g. days after the fracture, when the swelling begins to subside) the bruising and swelling increases, as new blood attempting to create a new erection seeps out of the crack into the outside tissues.

Unless the tear in the erectile tissue is very small, the treatment of a fractured penis involves surgical repair. Men should not just assume that the swelling would disappear. I have seen men who have waited for 1-2 weeks only to have to deal with the consequences of excessive scar tissue formation and subsequent curving of erected penis. All men should seek medical attention if they believe they have fractured their penis; it might turn out to be just a torn blood vessel or infection of the penile shaft or the erectile tissues (cavernositis). The man is taken to the operation room, where the skin of the penis is pulled back around the shaft of the organ, exposing the area on the erectile cylinder that is torn. This area is cleaned, approximated and sutured (stitched) together, so healing takes place with the minimum of scarring. If this is not done, then the torn tissues, which are not approximated and sutured, heal far apart and the “gap” is filled with scar tissue. Scar tissue does not stretch and when an erection takes place, all the tissues around the scar stretch, leaving the scar tissues unmoved and causing the penis to curve. This curve, if mild, might be compatible with intercourse, but if the curve is severe, then the man cannot make love. In bad cases of scarring, the man cannot have an erection, even with help from stimulants, such as Viagra. If this tear is repaired quickly, then the consequences are minimal and the man should return to full function within 2-4 weeks.

Fractured penis is not very common, but because of the embarrassment and ignorance associated with it, there is usually a delay in the man presenting to his doctor and hence referral to a urologist. This increases the risk of scarring and subsequent curvature of the penis, with possible impotence. It is therefore important that the man seeks medical attention immediately, if he thinks he has a fractured penis.

For comments or question contact:

Dr. Rohan Deshong

Tel: (784) 456-2785

email: [email protected]

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