620487 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Chordee


    Chordee is a birth defect of the penis. It causes the penis to be curved downward during an erection.
    The Male Reproductive System
    Nucleus factsheet image
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    Chordee occurs when the baby is developing in the womb. It is sometimes due to a shortened urethra or having thick tissue around the urethra. The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body so that urine can exit. Other times, the problem may be due to the skin on the bottom side of the penis being too short.

    Risk Factors

    One risk factor is hypospadias . With this condition, the opening of the urethra is on the bottom of the penis instead of at the tip of the penis.


    Symptoms include:
    • Curvature of the penis during erection (does not cause pain)
    • Abnormality of the foreskin
    This condition may not be detected until later in childhood.


    The doctor may diagnose the condition during a physical exam. A specialist called a urologist may do a procedure to create an artificial erection. This allows the doctor to examine the penis. Chordee may also be found during surgery to fix another problem that affects the penis.


    In mild cases, surgery may not be needed. The doctor will monitor your child’s condition. In other cases, surgery may be done to straighten the penis. The curved appearance will be straightened by:
    • Removing tissue that is constricting the erection
    • Lengthening the urethra
    • Making the longer and shorter sides of the penis equal in length
    Surgery is usually done in children aged 3-18 months.


    There is no known way to prevent this condition.


    American Academy of PediatricsHealthyChildren.org http://www.healthychildren.org

    Urology Care Foundation http://www.urologyhealth.org


    Canadian Urological Association http://www.cua.org

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca


    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), National Guideline Clearinghouse. Congenital penile curvature. AHRQ, National Guideline Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=12595&search=chordee . Published March 2009. Accessed January 31, 2013.

    Hypospadias. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 26, 2013. Accessed January 31, 2013.

    Hypospadias/chordee. Cincinnati Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/h/hypospadias/. Updated December 2010. Accessed January 31, 2013.

    Hypospadias and chordee. Comprehensive Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.urologist.org/ForPatients/EducationalResources/UrologyConditions/DIsplayPediatricConditions/tabid/234/ArticleId/71/Hypospadias-and-Chordee.aspx. Accessed January 31, 2013.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.