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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.


  • 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

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