Earring backing lodged in earlobe

Case contributed by MD Jaclyn Kappico


Patient was pulling on her earring in the right ear and accidentally pulled the earring through the front of the earlobe and lost its backing.

Patient Data

Age: 8 years
Gender: Female

1. Metallic radiopacity consistent with an earring backing is seen projected over
the soft tissue of the right ear lobule consistent with a retained foreign body in keeping with clinical history.
2. Visualized sinuses are clear.
3. No abnormal calcifications.

Case Discussion

Embedded earrings are an uncommon occurrence among children in a paediatric emergency department. The overall incidence is 25 per 10,000 cases with a median age of 8 years old (similar to our case). Most cases require local anesthesia for removal. Infection occurs in about 35% of cases and it is not uncommon for patients to be sent home with prophylactic antibiotics. Another common occurrence of embedded earrings is during the ear piercing process often due to aseptic technique.

This case was submitted with supervision and input from:

Soni C Chawla, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Radiological Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Olive View - UCLA Medical Center

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Case information

rID: 56423
Published: 11th Nov 2017
Last edited: 11th Nov 2017
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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