A cauliflower ear is one that is swollen and mishapened consequent to repetitive damage. It may be unilateral or bilateral.



(1) Repetitive trauma to the ear results in fracture of the cartilage and hematoma formation.

(2) This results in focal necrosis and perichondritis.

(3) Resolution of the injury with fibrosis and deformity.


Risk factors:

(1) contact sports, especially boxing, martial arts, and rugby

(2) physical labor with repetitive injury to the ears

(3) opium addiction (occurs when the addict sleeps on wooden or stone benches with wooden pillows)

(4) excessive host response (inflammatory and/or fibrosis)


Protective factors:

(1) wearing helmets during sporting bouts

(2) prompt attention to ear injuries (icing, treating of hematomas, anti-inflammatory agents)


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