Reconstructive Surgical Services
Facial Trauma at a Glance
Facial trauma can result in lacerations of the soft tissue and fractures of the facial bones.
Nasal bone fractures are the most common facial fracture due to the delicate nature of the nasal bones and their prominent position on the face. Jaw fractures are the second most common injury to the facial skeleton. Broken cheek bones, eye sockets and other facial bones also occur with relative frequency.
Most traumatic lacerations are immediately treated with meticulous repair to provide the best possible healing outcome. Dermabrasion can be performed six weeks after laceration repair to optimize the appearance of the facial scar.
Some facial bone fractures that are non-displaced do not require repair and can be carefully watched to ensure that they heal adequately. Fractures that do require treatment can be managed in a “closed” or “open” fashion. An example of “closed” treatment would be straightening of the crooked nose following a nasal fracture. “Open” repair involves making an incision, exposing the break and bringing the bones together using titanium plates and screws to fix the bones in place until they heal.
Most facial fractures should be repaired within two weeks with the exception of fractures of the jaw which we fix within seven days to minimize the risk of infection and poor bone healing. Repair of facial fractures is performed to minimize cosmetic deformities as well as to maintain function of the face and facial bones. Whenever possible incisions will be carefully placed or hidden within the mouth or nose, behind the eyelid, within the hair or in naturally occurring skin creases to “hide” scars from view.