Provider Prepared’s Weekly Pearl of Wound Wisdom #26 Lend me your Ear
A 40 year old female presents to the emergency department with a superficial laceration to the upper part of her right ear. This laceration was created as she was struck by a tree branch while doing yard work at her home this afternoon.
Simple lacerations of the ear are those that spare the cartilage. The most common location for a simple laceration of the ear is the ear lobe. These are appropriately closed with 6-0 nonabsorbable suture.
A 6-0 absorbable suture is reasonable to use in young children and in patients without certain follow up for suture removal. Most experts recommend fast-absorbing gut, as the absorbable suture material.
Auricular anesthesia can be obtained with local injection of Lidocaine without epinephrine, or by regional auricular block using Lidocaine with epinephrine.
Malloy, KE et al. Assessment and management of auricle lacerations. UpToDate, November 2016.
This patient's laceration did not have involvement of the cartilage, it was easily repaired with 6-0 prolene in a simple interrupted fashion.
- Brandon Durfee