If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to be aware of the potential for facial fractures. Facial fractures may not be immediately apparent and can range from minor fractures to more serious ones that require surgery.
What is a facial fracture?
A facial fracture is a break or cracks in the bones of your face. Facial fractures can range from being barely noticeable to causing severe pain and swelling. If you think you might have a facial fracture, it is important to see a doctor right away
One of the most common signs of a facial fracture is a pain in the affected area. There may also be swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the mouth or face. On top of that, the skin may break (lacerate) over the site of the fracture.
Types of facial fractures
There are several different types of facial fractures, depending on which bones are involved. The most common type is a fracture of the nose, which can occur when the bone is hit directly or when the force of the impact is transmitted to the nose from another area of the face. Other types of facial fractures include fractures of the cheekbone (orbital floor fracture), eye socket (blow-out fracture), and upper jaw (maxillary fracture). In a typical motor vehicle accident, there may be multiple facial fractures.
What are the consequences of a facial fracture?
When a facial fracture occurs, it can cause a number of problems. For example, a broken nose may result in difficulty breathing. A fracture of the eye socket can damage the eye and even cause blindness. And a fracture of the upper jaw can make it difficult to eat and speak.
How are facial fractures treated?
The treatment for a facial fracture will depend on the type and severity of the fracture. In some cases, the bone may need to be reset (re-positioned) and held in place with screws, wires, or plates. In other cases, surgery may be needed to repair the fracture.
There is no sure way to prevent facial fractures, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. For example, wearing a seatbelt when you are in a motor vehicle can help protect your face in the event of an accident. Wearing a helmet when participating in activities, such as biking, skateboarding and skiing can also help reduce the risk of these types of fractures.