From a man with two penises to a man with no butt crack, 2014 has kicked off with a series of outrageous medical stories that are sure to captivate public attention. Now a case in this month’s Irish Medical Journal highlights a 22-year-old man who was recently admitted to a Dublin hospital after crashing into the handlebars of his mountain bike, resulting in a seven-week-long erection that even puzzled doctors.
After straddling the crossbar of his bicycle during a fall, the competitive cyclist experienced pain and swelling in his groin area that cleared up within a week. Although his pain and bruises were gone, the man was still experiencing a penile erection that would not let up. He went five weeks with the persistent erection before seeking the advice of doctors at Tallaght Hospital in Dublin.
Doctors initially treated the man with special dressing compression therapy after they found “no sign of injury, but the penis was erect.” Although manual compression alleviated the erection while the dressing was intact, his condition resurfaced after the dressing was removed. Further tests revealed the true cause of the man’s condition as “ongoing priapism with rigid erection.”
According to the American Urological Association, priapism is a rare disorder that in some cases requires immediate medical attention and is often associated with progressive fibrosis of the cavernosal tissues or erectile dysfunction. This persistent penile erection is not related to sexual stimulation and includes the three subtypes ischemic (low flow), nonischemic (high flow), and stuttering priapism. Nonischemic priapism — viewed as less severe than ischemic priapism — is caused by unregulated cavernous arterial inflow and does not require immediate medical attention.
To treat the man’s condition, doctors inserted gel foam and four tiny platinum coils in between an abnormal artery and vein in his groin area that was meant to reestablish blood flow to his penis, the Irish Independent reported. Researchers involved with this case only reported two other priapism diagnoses resulting from a handlebar straddling injury.
Dr. Ronan Browne, consultant intervention radiologist at Tallaght Hospital, said the man’s condition following the noninvasive procedure was "a great result for him. We were very happy with the outcome. It was an anxious time for the patient as it would be for any young man." Following his recovery a month later, the man reported “satisfactory erection and intercourse.”