Traumatic Perforation of the Tympanic Membrane: A Review of 80 Cases

Doron Sagiv, Lela Migirov, Eran Glikson, Jobran Mansour, Ruth Yousovich, Michael Wolf, Yisgav Shapira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Traumatic perforation of the tympanic membrane (TPTM) is often encountered in primary care or in the emergency department (ED). Several therapeutic interventions have been described, but conservative follow-up until spontaneous complete recovery is the most common choice. Objective: Our goal was to analyze the trauma mechanism, perforation characteristics, and outcome of patients with TPTM. Methods: The study included patients examined in the ED of a tertiary, university-affiliated medical center because of TPTM between 2012 and 2016. Their medical records were retrospectively reviewed for demographics, trauma mechanism, clinical characteristics, and outcome. A phone survey was performed to obtain the missing information of all the patients who did not continue their follow-up in our outpatient clinic. Results: We reviewed the histories of 80 patients with a mean age of 26.7 ± 14.6 years (20 children; 25%). TPTM was caused by blunt trauma in 45 patients (56%) and penetrating trauma in 35 patients (44%). Thirty-five patients (44%) completed their follow-up in the hospital outpatient clinic, with a mean duration of 6.2 weeks. Twenty-five patients (38%) completed their follow-up in a community-based otolaryngology clinic, 6 patients (9%) chose not to complete their follow-up, and 14 patients were lost to follow-up. Of the 60 patients who completed follow-up, 56 patients recovered spontaneously, 3 patients underwent successful tympanoplasty, and 1 patient was referred to surgery but was lost to follow-up. All children healed spontaneously. Conclusion: TPTM was more common in young males with main mechanisms of blunt trauma (an assault) or cleaning the ear canal. All children demonstrated complete spontaneous recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-190
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Q-Tip injury
  • myringoplasty
  • perforation
  • tympanic membrane
  • tympanoplasty


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