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Facial Fractures

Facial trauma can occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports injuries, assaults and more. These injuries can be very confronting for victims as they are constantly on display.

Facial fractures can be divided into upper third, middle third and lower third.
Upper third fractures would be fractures of the eye socket (orbital fractures) or frontal bone (forehead). Middle third fractures are fractures of the cheekbone (zygoma), nose or upper jaw and lower third fractures are fractures of the lower jaw (mandible).

Surgery could either be an open or closed procedure. Stabilisation of facial fractures with metal plates and screws is commonplace.
The common closed reduction is for fractures of the arch of the zygoma. An incision is made in the temple, an instrument is passed beneath the arch of the zygoma, and the fracture of the zygomatic arch is lifted.
For the fractures of the lower jaw, metal arch bars, like braces, are applied to hold the jaw fracture in an ideal position for movement and healing.
Fracture of the floor of the eye socket can be repaired with metal or silastic sheeting.
Fractures that are displaced would need open reduction, and stabilisation with metal plates. Unless the plates become infected, they don’t need to be removed.
Fractures take about 8 weeks to heal, and function would slowly recover throughout this time also.


The Risks

Early sequelae of surgery include bleeding, slow healing, bruising and swelling, and numbness around the ear, facial nerve weakness. Later complications include asymmetry of the face, numbness, and persistent facial nerve weakness.


The Recovery
Recovery will take about 6 weeks.

Image by Imansyah Muhamad Putera
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