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Facial Fracture

Medical Treatment continued...

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 that's typically performed by a plastic surgeon or ENT specialist.

Cheekbone (zygomatic) fracture

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

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 consult with the specialist whether to have surgery or not.

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 with 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.

Synonyms and Keywords

broken nose, broken jaw, jaw fracture, mandibular fracture, maxillary fracture, nasal fracture, orbital floor fracture, TMJ dislocation, zygomatic fracture, facial trauma, nose bleed, nose bleeds, nosebleed, nosebleeds, nasal bleeding, bloody nose

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WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on May 05, 2014

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