Purpose: It is unusual to have communication from the external auditory canal (EAC) directly to the mastoid, totally sparing the tympanum. These patients need a different surgical approach, a modified canal wall-down procedure, to completely clear the disease but fully preserve the tympanum. We present one such exceptional case. Case presentation: A 28-year-old lady presented with ear discharge for 1 year. Imaging confirmed the canal-mastoid fistula, but the entire tympanum was normal. We performed a modified-modified radical mastoidectomy. Conclusions: Canal-mastoid fistula is an infrequent entity and may be idiopathic. Despite being evident on clinical examination, imaging aids in assessing size and location of the defect. Although EAC reconstruction may be attempted, the majority require a canal wall-down procedure.
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