What are the possible complications of complex ear laceration?

Updated: Aug 25, 2020
  • Author: Gretchen S Lent, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Complications may include the following:

  • Erosive chondritis: The cartilage of the ear is avascular; with disruption or removal of the overlying skin, risk of erosive chondritis exists. The use of cartilage sutures increases the risk of chondritis, and they should be used only when necessary. Delayed chondritis may occur after burns and other injuries and may respond to antibiotic therapy.

  • Auricular hematomas: Auricular hematomas occur when a shearing injury separates the auricular cartilage from the perichondrium, creating a space for blood to collect. Auricular hematomas can causes fibrotic changes and the progressive development of a chronic deformity known as cauliflower ear. [16] To prevent this scarring, the hematoma must be evacuated and the ear compressed for a week.

  • Other complications: These may include keloid formation and infection.

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