Facial fractures are broken bones in the face, but since the face has such a complex structure, many different types of fractures can occur.
After suffering facial trauma, you could have multiple facial fractures on one or both sides of the face. You’re most likely to have multiple facial fractures if you were in a car accident, and nasal fractures are the most common.
While some facial injuries are minor and heal quickly, some can be life-threatening. Facial fractures have the potential to interfere with your ability to breathe or see. Whenever you’ve had facial trauma, it’s important to get medical attention immediately so your doctor can diagnose the extent of the injury.
Here are the six most common types of facial fractures:
The nasal bones are thinner than the rest of the facial bones, plus they protrude from the face. Thus, they’re the most likely to break. Some signs of a nasal fracture include a nosebleed, bruising, difficulty breathing through the nose, swelling and pain. The nose may look crooked or bent.
2. Frontal Bone
The frontal bone is in your forehead. It’s most likely to break after a high-impact hit to the front of your head. The bone is the thinnest in the middle of your forehead, so this is often where the fracture happens. Since it takes a powerful force to fracture the frontal bone, you may have other injuries as well.
If your forehead looks like it has been pushed inward or you have sinus pain, you could have a frontal bone injury.
3. Zygomatic Maxillary
Your cheekbones are known as zygomas. They are attached to your upper jaw (maxilla) in multiple locations. A zygomatic maxillary fracture is typically characterized by a flat cheek, a change in sensation underneath the eye and problems moving the eye above the affected cheekbone.
The orbital bone, or eye socket, may fracture after blunt force trauma, such as on object hitting the eye. You could have an orbital rim fracture, which is the thick outer part of the eye socket. A blowout fracture means there is a crack in the lower portion of the eye socket, which can restrict eye movement. A direct orbital floor fracture is a break in the lower eye socket.
Blurry vision, numbness around the eye, swelling and significant bruising can all point to an orbital fracture.
Swelling anywhere on the face could point to a mid-face fracture, also known as a Le Fort fracture, which is categorized as I, II or III. What each type has in common is the fracture of the pterygoid processes, part of the sphenoid bone. Inflammation or deformities on the face could indicate a type of Le Fort fracture.
Your mandible, or lower jaw, is integral to talking and eating. A fracture in any part of the mandible will affect your ability to open your mouth. You could also have broken or loose teeth. If you have severe pain when you try to close your mouth, any numbness, or you feel like your teeth don’t fit together right, it’s time for an evaluation.
Let Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery diagnose the extent of your facial fractures and recommend the best course of treatment. Whether you simply need watchful care or a skilled surgical repair, our team can help.