What is Cauliflower Ear?

Cauliflower Ear is an ear complication when the external portion of the ear suffers an injury, blood clot, or  injury. The ear becomes thick due to a collection of fluid under the perichondrium.  If left untreated, it can turn into a hardened, almost tissue like lump in the outer ear.

From the initial injury, the cartilage of the ear, separates from the lower tissue. The Blood supply is interrupted, which can lead to changes to the skin and the risk of infection increase. Over time, the tissue becomes fibrious.

The classic picture is when there is the thickening of the tissues is caused by the fibrious tissue. The external ear resembles a cauliflower – and so it is named.

Hematoma is the accumulation of blood or a pocket of blood in a certain area. Initially after injury, a hematoma forms. It isn’t until later, that the fibrous tissue develops.

Cauliflower ear can be prevented or limited by Headgear, or other protection of the ears.

If left untreated, it can become a painful injury and deformity can occur. In some cases a bacterial infection can develop and in severe cases, hearing loss can develop.

 

Commonly seen:

1.)  Wrestlers

2.)  Fighters

3.)  Kick boxers or Martial Artists

4.)  Rugby players

 

Symptoms:

–  Pain
–  Swelling
–  Bruising
–  Deformity
–  Redness or Inflammation
–  Ringing in ears
–  Headache
–  Facial headache
–  Bleeding from outer ear
–  Hearing loss

 

Treatment:

1.)  Antibiotics – when necessary.

2.)  Draining – when necessary

3.)  Tension or Compression dressing – placed around ears by a medical provider to limit the separation of the cartilage

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