Management of Acute Soft Tissue Injury to the Auricle
17 November 2010 (online)
The external ear is commonly involved in facial trauma. Injuries to the ear can range from simple lacerations to complete avulsions. We review the normal auricular anatomy and vascular supply, as well as the initial management of any auricular injury. Furthermore, we review the literature on soft tissue injuries of the ear and present a simple algorithm for classifying injuries. The classification is based on whether or not cartilage is involved. Injuries to the lobule do not involve cartilage and thus are more easily repaired by simple closure or Z-plasty. Injuries involving cartilage are further classified into partial or complete avulsions. A complete avulsion is then categorized by having a wide or narrow pedicle. There is no standardized, definitive management for the various types of auricular trauma, and this schema may assist in deciding which of the various reconstructive options is most appropriate for a particular case.
Ear - auricle - trauma - avulsion - laceration - replantation