November 16th, 2012

Health N' Sports: Cauliflower Ear

Staff Report

Health N' Sports: Cauliflower Ear

Louisville Orthopaedic talks about Cauliflower Ear


Cauliflower ear is a condition that occurs when the external portion of the ear suffers a direct blow, or a shearing force, resulting in a blood clot or collection of other fluid accumulates under the perichondrium. The cartilage of the ear has no blood supply, except that which is supplied by the overlying skin. When the skin is pulled away and/or separated from the underlying cartilage by blood/other fluid, the cartilage is deprived of nutrients and quite possibly could die.  As the injury heals, the ear can shrivel up and fold up on itself and appear pale, giving the appearance of a cauliflower. The condition is common among boxers, wrestlers and mixed martial artists.


Because the acute hematoma can lead to cauliflower ear, prompt evacuation of the blood is necessary to avoid permanent deformity. Antibiotics are frequently prescribed to prevent secondary infections and pressure bandages are helpful to promote the skin and cartilage to reconnect. When treated appropriately, deformity is unlikely.


Appropriate head gear is extremely effective at prevention period! Wrestlers, wear your head gear at practice!

Tom Mooney, P.T.

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic & Sports Rehab Center

Main Office: 502-897-1794

Physical Therapy: 502-897-1790


Find us on FACEBOOK


Recent Articles