Skip to content
    Font Size

    Facial Fracture

    When to Seek Medical Care

    A doctor should check all people with facial trauma. In the event of massive trauma, call 911.

    For any other significant facial injury, you can either go to a hospital emergency department or see your own doctor.

    Any of the the following symptoms need to be evaluated by a doctor:

    • Clear nasal discharge
    • Nosebleed
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Any visual disturbance such as double or blurry vision
    • Any hearing problem
    • Inability to bring teeth together
    • Pain with jaw movement
    • Altered sensation on the face
    • Face uneven (asymmetrical)
    • Open wounds with visible bone

    Exams and Tests

    The exam and the types of tests that are used depend on the type of injury you have.

    Nasal fracture

    Even if you have an injury to your nose, it is rare that X-rays will be needed to guide the treatment. A nasal fracture is usually diagnosed by physical exam. The initial care for a nasal injury does not change even if you have a fracture.

    If a fracture of the bones high up inside the nose (ethmoid bones) is suspected, the doctor may order a CT scan.

    Jaw (mandibular) fracture

    If you have a possible jaw fracture, your doctor may order an X-ray. Sometimes a special dental X-ray machine may be used to help in the diagnosis. Not all hospitals have this equipment.

    Midface (maxillary) fracture

    Because they are most often caused in car accidents, fractures of your midface are often associated with other significant, potentially life-threatening injuries. So diagnosing a facial fracture is often not the most important part of your early treatment.

    After you are stabilized, a CT scan of the face is the most useful imaging test for checking for a midface fracture.

    Cheekbone (zygomatic) fracture

    If you are evaluated right away, the doctor can usually diagnose a cheekbone fracture by physical exam. This becomes more difficult with time because of swelling.

    Special X-ray views of the zygomatic bone are often helpful. If you have a severe fracture involving other bones of the face, your doctor may also order a CT scan to get more information.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.