Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can you break the cartilage in your ear?"

ZocdocAnswersCan you break the cartilage in your ear?


Fell off my bike and hit my ear pretty hard against the ground. Now the hard part of my ear is extremely sore. Is it possible to break or crack your ear? Can cartilage break like this?


Cartilage is, by definition, very flexible and pliable. Therefore, it would be pretty unlikely to have it break or tear, especially in a place like the ear. However, you could have sustained a contusion, or bruise, either of the cartilage itself or of the skin and tissue overlying the cartilage. This can be quite painful as you describe. I would recommend discussing this issue with your primary care doctor. If you do have a contusion, the treatment will probably be ice applied to the area regularly for the first few days, as well as taking anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen to help reduce the pain. If you follow your doctor's instruction to do this, you will probably be feeling a lot better within a couple of days. You should seek medical help right away if the pain is very severe, or if you notice any significant swelling or deformity of the ear, or if the pain is not improving after a few days. Good luck with this issue, and I hope you start to feel better soon!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.