Assessment and management of auricle (ear) lacerations
- Kelly Michele Malloy, MD
Kelly Michele Malloy, MD
- Associate Professor
- Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
- University of Michigan Medical School
- Judd E Hollander, MD
Judd E Hollander, MD
- Professor and Vice Chair Department of Emergency Medicine
- Thomas Jefferson University
- Section Editors
- Anne M Stack, MD
Anne M Stack, MD
- Section Editor — Pediatric Procedures
- Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics
- Harvard Medical School
- Allan B Wolfson, MD
Allan B Wolfson, MD
- Section Editor — Adult Procedures
- Professor of Emergency Medicine
- University of Pittsburgh
- Deputy Editor
- James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
- Senior Deputy Editor — UpToDate
- Deputy Editor — Adult and Pediatric Emergency Medicine
- Deputy Editor — Primary Care Sports Medicine (Adolescents and Adults)
- Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine/Traumatology
- University of Connecticut School of Medicine
This chapter will cover assessment and management of simple and complex auricle (ear) lacerations. Once serious head or middle ear injury is excluded, careful closure of ear lacerations after copious but gentle irrigation and minimal debridement should ensure coverage of any exposed cartilage to preserve cosmetic appearance.
Minor wound management, methods of suture placement, repair of adjacent anatomic sites, and evaluation of middle ear trauma are discussed in detail separately:
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- Physical examination
- Ancillary studies
- INDICATIONS FOR SUBSPECIALTY CONSULTATION OR REFERRAL
- WOUND REPAIR
- Indications for primary closure
- Contraindications and precautions
- - Anesthesia and analgesia
- Local anesthesia
- Regional auricular block
- Procedural sedation
- - Wound preparation
- - Equipment
- - Simple lacerations
- - Split earlobe
- - Complex lacerations
- - Avulsion injuries
- OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
- Tetanus prophylaxis
- Prophylactic antibiotics
- Bite wounds
- Auricular notching
- Auricular hematoma
- Perichondritis or chondritis
- SOCIETY GUIDELINE LINKS
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS