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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Tragus abscess with Chondritis

06/12/2004

Question:

Dear sir, I develop a infection in my ear canal and it resulted in me having an abscess on my ear lobe. I went to the doctor and he had to split my ear to removed it. He told me this was something like and infection in the bone. He never explain to me where or how I make have gotten it. Can you tell me what the defintion is for this term? Can you tell me how rare is it for someone to get this?

Answer:

Chondritis is an infection or inflammation of the cartilage.  Your outer ear framework is made of cartilage.  The usual cause of the condition is from trauma (ie slap, ear piercing).  It often requires a long course of antibiotics together with surgical drainage.  If not treated properly can cause permanent deformity of the ear cartilage. 

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Response by:

John H Greinwald, Jr, MD, FAAP John H Greinwald, Jr, MD, FAAP
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and Pediatrics
Director of the Auditory Genetics Laboratory
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati