Cauliflower Ear!

Anyone that watches MMA has seen it — a fighter that appears to have a baby’s fist sewn onto the side of his head as a replacement for an ear. If you watched it, there’s no doubt that the image of James Thompson’s ear exploding when he fought Kimbo Slice in Strikeforce will forever be etched into your head. Most of the time, it’s just a minor annoyance, but cauliflower ear can turn into a pretty gnarly ordeal.

From my understanding, when your ear is struck or twisted in just the right manner, the skin will separate from the cartilage, and the void between the two is filled with a blood clot. Bam! Cauliflower ear. It starts as just a sore, squishy mass in your ear, looking something like this:

Puffed Up Ear

The beginnings of cauliflower ear. My wife hates my patchy stubble, but I will only shave once a week. Only once!

Most of the time, if you drain it a couple of times with a syringe, and either wear headgear or stay away from training altogether, it will shrink up and harden, leaving you with a (roughly) normal-looking ear. However, if you keep training on it, without headgear, like the idiot whose post you are reading, it will continue to swell and harden in unnatural ways until your ear looks like a chewed piece of bubblegum.

Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with the friendship of several doctors who will fix my ears when my pride and pigheadedness are trumped by my common sense and vanity (shout out to doctors Sovndal and Dorfman).

The correct way to deal with cauliflower ear involves the following:
1. Go to a doctor while the cauliflower ear is still fresh (i.e. not clotted and hardened yet).
2. They will make a small incision in the swollen area, and milk the blood out of the cut.
3. They will then suture two dense pieces of gauze through both sides of the ear to keep the area compressed.
4. Everything involving sleeping, changing your shirt, and drying off after showers will hurt for 5 days until the sutures and gauze come out. Also, without fail, an animal, baby, or older brother will slap you in the ear, causing incredible pain and suffering.

The Sutured Ear

Someone please tell me I'm still handsome.

After you get all the crap taken out, your ear is swollen and tender for a couple of days, then it gradually returns to a less-pliable version of its former self. The end.

One Comment on "Cauliflower Ear!"

  1. broy says:

    tough and funny.

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