Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

Font Size
A
A
A

Facial Fracture

Medical Treatment

  • Nasal fracture

    • First, the doctor will control your nosebleed (if you have one). If there is a collection of blood inside your nose, called a septal hematoma, the doctor will drain it by cutting a hole in it to let the blood out.

    • Because your nose will be very swollen at first, a broken nose is not immediately put back into place (reduced). Even after the swelling goes down, reducing a broken nose is necessary only if you will have a poor cosmetic result or your airflow is obstructed. If it is necessary, a specialist will do it at a follow-up appointment. By this time, the swelling should have gone down, and the bone should be put in place more accurately.

    • Fractures of the bones inside your nose (ethmoid fractures) require hospitalization.

  • Jaw (mandibular) fracture

    • A broken bone that is visible through the skin or inside the mouth, called an open fracture, requires hospital admission and IV antibiotics.

    • Most of the time, if you have a closed fracture of your jaw, you will be referred to an oral surgeon for treatment.

  • Midface (maxillary) fracture

    • Because of the severity of a midface fracture and its associated injuries, you may require a tube to be inserted to help you breathe, and you will most likely be hospitalized.

    • These fractures usually require surgery. This is usually performed by a plastic surgeon or ENT specialist.

  • Cheekbone (zygomatic) fracture: If your zygomatic arch is fractured, you may require surgery to repair it if the fracture is pushed in causing a cosmetic defect.

  • Eye socket (orbital) fracture

    • The timing of and need for eye socket fracture repair is controversial.

    • Some specialists feel surgical repair is needed only if you have persistent double vision or your eye recedes into the socket.

    • Others use CT scans to help them make the decision. You should decide whether to have surgery with the consulting specialist.

  • Temporomandibular joint dislocation: This is usually realigned in the emergency department. A local anesthetic can be used as well as medication to relax the jaw muscles.

Next Steps - Prevention

These injuries are often associated with alcohol use and fighting, motor vehicle accidents, and playing sports.

Always wear your seatbelt while driving and use proper protective gear for sports.

Outlook

  • Nasal fracture

    • You will require follow-up care in 5-7 days for re-evaluation after the swelling has subsided.

    • If your nose needs to be put back into place, it is usually done at this visit.

  • Jaw (mandibular) fracture: Prognosis is usually good.

  • Midface (maxillary) fracture

    • People with midface fractures have a poorer prognosis because of other injuries suffered from the accident that caused their fracture.

    • A high incidence of blindness is reported in a particular type of maxillary fracture.

  • Cheekbone (zygomatic) fracture: As an isolated injury, this usually presents a cosmetic problem only.

  • Temporomandibular joint dislocation: Be careful not to open your mouth widely after your jaw is put back into place because of the risk of another dislocation of the joint.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Hot Topics

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

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

tea
What you should eat.
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
colon xray
Get the facts.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
fruit drinks
Foods that can help you focus.
Sad dog and guacamole
Don't feed this to your dog.
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.