Case Report

Earring Stuck in the Ear Lobule of a Child: Uncommon Complication. A Case Report

Chijioke C Anekpo* and Chime Peter Ekpunobi

Department of Otorhinolarygology College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Enugu, Nigeria
Department of Internal Medicine College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Enugu, Nigeria

Published Date: 07/03/2022.

*Corresponding author: Chijioke C. Anekpo, Department of Otorhinolarygology College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Enugu, Nigeria

DOI: 10.51931/OAJCS.2022.04.000053


Earring stuck in the ear lobule is an uncommon occurrence among children in a paediatric emergency department. There was a history of fall on the affected side of the ear. We report a case of earring stuck in ear lobule of a child as a result of fall while playing. The stuck earring was removed under general anaesthesia on the 5th day of the incidence.


The ear lobule occupies a unique position among facial structures and is particularly important due to the secular tradition of people wearing decoration and jewelry in this place [1].  The ear lobule is the most common site of body piercing with up to 80% to 90% of the female population having at least one ear lobule pierced.  Up to one third of patients experienced some form of complications after ear piercing [2]. These complications due to piercing are well documented and may involve local infection, sepsis, keloid, scar formation sarcoid granulomas, cyst formation, bifid ear lobe deformity and organizing hermatoma [3].  To our knowledge, there is no report regarding stuck earring in the ear lobule of a child without the effect of piercing.  In this report, we describe an uncommon complication of earring stuck in the earlobe due to trauma from fall while playing.

Case Report

A 3-year-old child was referred to us from a peripheral hospital with a complaint of inability to remove the right ear ring after a fall one week prior to presentation. Examination revealed an intact ear lobule with a stuck earring as shown by the locking part of the earring in the posterior part of the lobule not seen.  Attempt to remove the earring manually was very difficult.  The earring was surgically removed under general anaethesis via the posterior approach.  Patient was placed on antibiotic for five days post operatively.  The wound healed uneventfully (Figures 1-4).

Figure 1: Stuck Earring.

Figure 2: Removed Earring with Pin.

Figure 3: Heamostasis Maintained by Pressure Packing.

Figure 4: Post-up Condition.


Several risks are associated with ear piercing [4].  Saleen by et al 3 reported a variety of complication which usually resulted from wrong application of ear-piercing techniques which include needles, safety pins, sharpened studs, self-piercing kits and spring–loaded guns.  Tearing of the ear lobule is also a complication of earring misuses which require surgical repair [5].  Folz et al have reported medical complications through jewelry in a series of 35 consecutive patients [6]. The above-mentioned complications resulted from ear piercing.  Our patient experienced stuck earring not due to piercing, jewelry or misuse of earring but as a result of trauma while playing.  To our knowledge, this is a rare earring complication that has not been reported previously in the literature. In trauma, the earring pin exerted high pressure on the soft tissue of the ear lobule resulting in inflammation and compression of the earring stud.  This problem may also occur in wearing earring while sleeping.


Stuck earring is an uncommon complication in children not due to piercing.  To avoid such complications, we suggest the use of earring without pin and if used to remove while playing and at night during sleep.


  1. Lucas Gomes Patrocinio, Rodrigo Marcio Morais, Jose Edmundo Pereira, Jose Antonio Patrocinio (2006) Rev Bras Otorrinolaringol 7(4): 447-451.
  2. Tiong T. Sattler S.T.O. Sullivan (2008) Eur J Plast Surg 13: 29-31.
  3. Saleeby ER, Rubin MG Youshock E, Kleinsmith DM (1984) Embedded Foreign Bodies presenting as earlobe Keloids.  J Dermatol Surg Oncol 10: 9024.
  4. Nurten Turhan Itaktanir, Yavuz Demir (2004) Embedded earrings as a result of misuse: Case report.  Indian J Plastic Surg 37(2): 134-135.
  5. Watson D (2004) Repair of the torn earlobe Facial Plast Surg 20: 39-45.
  6. Folz BJ, Lippert BM, Kuelkens C, Werner JA (2002) Jewelry-induced diseases of the head and neck.  Ann Plast Surg 49:264-271.

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