"Doctors in Britain Confess to Making up Musical Condition 'Cello Scrotum' As a Joke"

January 28, 2009

On Tuesday, doctors announced that a condition cited in medical journals for 34 years was actually just a hoax.

The bogus condition, called “cello scrotum,” was described as raw and swollen loins of men who play their cellos a tad too long, or too vigorously. The malady has been cited in several papers discussing other musical ailments, such as “fiddler’s neck,” finger dermatitis and permanent muscle twitches.

The cellist/husband of a knitting buddy was interviewed for this article:

Of course, someone might have asked a cellist in all these years. Roger Shell of New York City has been playing the cello for 40 years and said he never even heard of “cello scrotum.”

“I can’t see how that’s possible, actually,” said Shell.

At most, Shell said it’s possible for cellists to chafe the inside of their thighs, “if you’re wearing shorts,” he said. “There are really no other contact points other than the chest.”

I’m sure I had more to say about this, but I got distracted by a headline about toxic fish testicles.