Nicholas A. Rossi, MD
Derek H. Spath, MD
Dayton L. Young, MD, FACS
Harold S. Pine, MD, FACS, FAAP
University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals; University of Texas Medical Branch Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery;
Introduction: Cauliflower ear is an auricular deformity that results from untreated auricular hematoma, which leads to cartilaginous necrosis and subsequent neocartilage formation. Despite both cosmetic concerns and hearing loss in
severe cases, the deformity may be viewed as a “badge of honor” among grappling circles. This study aims to investigate the perception of cauliflower ear among jiu jitsu grapplers and their likelihood to seek medical treatment.
Methods: Survey study using an online survey consisting of 8 questions which was sent to all members of Gracie Barra Brotherhood Facebook group, an online jiu jitsu community.
Results: 116 responses were recorded, with 76.7% (89/116) of respondents having experienced auricular hematoma during their time training jiu jitsu. Out of those respondents, 30.2 % (35/116) initially sought treatment for their auricular
hematoma; however, only 7.9% (6/76) of respondents with cauliflower ear deformity planned to seek treatment in the future. No respondents reported regular use of ear protection, with only 9.5% (11/116) reporting occasional use. 26.7%
(31/116) of respondents view cauliflower ear as cosmetically appealing, 24.1% (28/116) view it as unappealing, and 49.1% ( 116 ) view it neutrally.
Conclusions: Although many grapplers experience auricular hematomas and develop cauliflower ear deformity during their training, this study suggests that most do not seek treatment. Although this may be due to a positive perception
of the appearance of cauliflower ear in grappling communities, most respondents did not find it cosmetically appealing. These findings can be useful for otolaryngologists to better understand the motivations and expectations of patients with auricular hematoma and cauliflower ear.