A local anaesthetic block of branches of the greater auricular and auriculotemporal nerves was used to facilitate the extraction of retained butterfly backs and ear-ring studs. A total of 28 ear blocks were performed on 26 patients. Two patients required bilateral ear blocks, and 17 earlobes were infected. Complete analgesia was obtained in 25 cases, and two patients complained of tolerable discomfort during removal of the ear-ring. Assessment of analgesia was not possible in one 5-year-old child. We recommend this quick and simple technique for removal of retained ear-rings, particularly when there is associated soft tissue infection, in which case infiltration of local anaesthetic into the earlobe is contraindicated.