What is Stahl’s ear
A Stahl’s ear deformity consists of a pointy ear shape and an extra cartilage fold (crus) in the scapha portion of the ear. It is sometimes also called a Spock’s ear, in reference to Leonard Nimoy’s character in the Star Trek television show and movies.
Stahl’s ear is the result of misshapen cartilage. It is characterized by an extra horizontal fold of cartilage (crus). Normally, there are two: superior and inferior. In Stahl’s ear, there is a third horizontal crus. The helix (or upper portion of the ear) may unfurl, giving it a pointed shape. This gives the characteristic “Spock” appearance to the ear.
If Stahl’s ear is discovered in the first few weeks to months after birth, ear molding may correct this deformity and avoid the need for surgery. Infants’ ears are still soft and flexible, which makes them responsive to molding. Like many other conditions in which ear molding is useful (such as cryptotia, constricted ears and protruding ears), the earlier the intervention, the shorter the treatment. Early treatment also often leads to better outcomes.
In older children, surgical correction is necessary to correct the deformity. Surgery to correct Stahl’s ear involves reshaping, repositioning and closing up (suturing) the abnormal cartilage to reverse the pointed shape of the ear. Although a general anesthetic is needed, the operation is done on an outpatient basis and your child will be able to return home the same day.
Reviewed by David W. Low, MD,