Traumatic neuromas of the head and neck

Ear Nose Throat J. 1998 Aug;77(8):670-4, 676.


An interesting case of a traumatic neuroma of the greater auricular nerve provides the impetus for a discussion of head and neck neuromas. Traumatic neuromas of the head and neck are relatively rare. Division of the greater auricular nerve during parotidectomy occasionally results in a traumatic neuroma. We report a case of a 73-year-old woman who presented with a traumatic neuroma nine years after undergoing superficial parotidectomy with dissection of the facial nerve for a mixed tumor. The patient had a 1.5 cm x 1.0 cm mass located below the old surgical site over the anteromedial border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. The patient's past history was significant for Frey's syndrome, which is the result of abnormal neurologic growth. On first impression, the tumor was thought to be a recurrence of neoplastic disease; however, because of the evaluation, traumatic neuroma was suspected. An attempt at fine-needle aspiration of the mass was too painful to be carried out. At surgery, a whitish tumor was excised which, on final pathologic examination, revealed traumatic neuroma. The surgical literature is reviewed and the subject of head and neck neuromas, including their evaluation and management, is thoroughly discussed. Knowledge of this possible diagnosis may spare the patient and the surgeon needless worry, as well as unnecessary procedures, once tumor recurrence has been ruled out.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Post-Traumatic*
  • Neuroma / etiology*
  • Parotid Gland / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications