What is the anatomy relevant to complex ear laceration?

Updated: May 10, 2018
  • Author: Gretchen S Lent, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The auricle, or external ear, develops from 6 tubercles that fuse to form the tragus, crus helices, helix, antihelix, antitragus, and lobule. The intrinsic and extrinsic musculature of the ear is of no significant importance, even when injured. See the image below.

Anatomy of the external ear. Anatomy of the external ear.

The ear consists of exceptionally vascular skin closely applied to an avascular cartilaginous framework. Lacerations to the ear may involve the skin, the fibrocartilaginous or fatty tissues of the auricle, or any combination thereof. The superficial temporal artery and posterior auricular artery provide the blood supply to the ear. When repaired appropriately, lacerations to the ear generally heal well because of this generous dual blood supply. A single vascular pedicle, containing the upper auricular branch of the superficial temporal artery, can provide supply enough blood for the entire ear. [5] For more information about the relevant anatomy, see Ear Anatomy.


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