Chordee causes a sharp curve of the penis. It is most apparent during an erection.

Male Reproductive System
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Chordee develops before birth. It may be caused by tight skin on the bottom of the penis or problems with the urethra. The urethra is the tube that allows urine to pass out of the body. Chordee may develop if the tube is too short or there is thick tissue around the tube.

Risk Factors

Chordee is more common in children with:


Chordee causes the penis to be curved. It does not cause pain.


The doctor can often see chordee during a physical exam. A specialist may do further tests. Mild chordee may not be found until later in childhood.


Mild chordee may not need treatment. The doctor will check for any future problems during regular exams.

Severe chordee may need surgery. Steps to straighten the penis may include:

  • Remove tissue that is causing curve
  • Make the longer and shorter sides of the penis equal in length
  • Lengthen the urethra if the urethra is short


The cause of chordee is not clear so there are no clear steps to prevent it.


Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics

Urology Care Foundation


Canadian Urological Association

Health Canada


Hypospadias. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed September 2, 2020.

Hypospadias/chordee. Cincinnati Children's website. Available at: Accessed September 2, 2020.

Montag S, Palmer L. Abnormalities of penile curvature: chordee and penile torsion. ScientificWorldJournal. 2011;11:1470-1478.

Snodgrass W. Management of penile curvature in children. Curr Opin Urol. 2008;18(4):431-435.

Tekgul S, Dogan HS, Kocvara R, et al; European Society for Paediatric Urology and European Association of Urology (ESPU/EAU). Guidelines on Paediatric Urology. EAU 2017 Mar.

Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 9/3/2020