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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Intermittent pinna pain

10/22/2008

Question:

I occasionally have severe pain in the section of my pinna that goes across my ear before forming the outer curve of my ear (it`s the very hard section of the pinna that feels almost like bone). I`ve noticed the last two times the pain has started, that this section of my pinna "moves"--I can wiggle it and feel it pop under my finger. Of course when I do that, it makes the ear hurt that much more! Since my other ear doesn`t wiggle and pop in this area, I`m wondering if I`ve broken or cracked something. Is that even possible? Before I realized this area of my pinna moved, I had two different family practitioners look at my ear but not find anything wrong (no swelling inside, redness, etc.). At the time, I used ear plugs, and one of them thought they might be causing the pain. Although stopping my use of them helped, the pain still comes back intermittently. When it does, it lasts for hours. Any suggestions?

Answer:

Without examining you, I do not know what you have. You may have TMJ dysfunction. You may need a CT scan. I would recommend getting a hearing test and seeing an otologist. Thanks.

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Response by:

Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Skull Base Surgery Fellowship, Director of Adults Cochlear Implantation Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati