What is chordee?

Chordee occurs when the penis curves sharply up or down. This most commonly occurs at the end of the penis, known as the glans, or at the tip.

This is a relatively common condition, affecting around 1 in every 200 male babies. This is a congenital condition, meaning that your child can be born with it. If this is the case, then your doctor will discuss the condition with you and any potential treatment options.


The most visible symptom of chordee is the sharp curve in the penis. This can either be upwards or downwards. This can occur anywhere from the base of the penis near the testicles or at the glans. Other symptoms that are associated with chordee include:

  • Webbed penis – when the skin at the bottom of the penis shaft is connected to the skin of the scrotum.

  • Skin tethering – the skin around the tip of the penis is very thin

  • Penile torsion- the midline raphe, located on the bottom of the penis shaft, circles around the penis tissue rather than running along the shaft

  • Dorsal preputial hood - the foreskin that usually wraps around the whole of the tip of the penis is only covering the top half of the penis

For older men this can cause problems with sex, such as discomfort or difficult and in some cases impossible due to the shape of their penis.

For males with mild cases of chordee, they may not notice they have the condition until they are older and start to have erections at puberty.

Chordee is caused a sudden stop in penis growth while a foetus is developing in the womb. It is unknown why this occurs in some babies.


Because this is a congenital condition, your doctor may be able to diagnose the condition at birth. If surgery is needed to correct the curve, they will go over the risks and benefits before you go ahead with the surgery.

Once the surgery is finished and the penis is fully recovered, almost all patients are able to urinate properly and have minimal curve in their penis.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.

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