Facial plast Surg 2010; 26(6): 445-450
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1267718
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Management of Acute Soft Tissue Injury to the Auricle

Leela Lavasani1 , Douglas Leventhal2 , Minas Constantinides2 , Howard Krein1
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
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.