Skull or Facial Fracture

A facial fracture is when one or more of the bones in your face end up broken. The bones in the face encompass those surrounding the eye, nose, jaw and cheekbones. Facial fractures might end up causing damage to surrounding tissue.

Facial fractures are often the direct result of an injury to the face. Motorcycle, car and bicycle accidents can all cause injuries that wind up fracturing the face. Fractures can also be the result of injuries that were sustained from playing sports, such as football and baseball. Jaw and nose fractures can occur if you are hit in the face from a physical attack.

Skull or Facial Fracture Anatomy

The facial skeleton works to protect the brain, provide a frame for the soft tissues of the face for eating, breathing, speech and expression and protect and house the organs controlling sight, taste and smell. The main bones in the face are that of the maxilla, mandible, nasal bones, frontal bone and zygoma. The anatomy of bones in the face is quite complex, albeit elegant. It serves a multitude of functions.

Skull or Facial Fracture

How to Treat a Skull or Facial Fracture:

  1. Closed Reduction

During a closed reduction procedure, the broken bones will be returned to their original position. Closed reduction is often done when the nose is broken. An incision isn’t needed for the procedure.

  1. Endoscopy

This particular test utilizes a scope to look into the eye socket and sinuses. The scope is positioned between the upper lip and gums and into the sinuses that sit behind the cheekbone. The scope might also be put into your scalp using a small incision. During the procedure, small pieces of broken bone might be removed. Special devices are used to help support the bones that are broken.

  1. Medication

Decongestants can help to decrease swelling in the sinuses and nose, as well as help you to breathe easier. Pain medication can help to minimize pain. Steroid medicine will help to decrease swelling in the face. An antibiotic will help to treat an infection resulting from bacteria.

  1. Orthodontic Treatment

If you have broken or damaged teeth, you might need to see someone who can handle that for you. If your teeth aren’t lining up correctly whenever you close your jaw following the injury, this treatment might be the only option to correct the problem.

Tips:

  • Apply an ice pack for 5-10 minutes at a time three to five times per day to help alleviate swelling and pain. Make sure to cover the pack with a thin towel to prevent an ice burn from occurring.
  • Keep your head elevated above your heart level as often as possible to help decrease pain and swelling.
  • Avoid sleeping on the part of your face that is injured. Pressure can cause additional damage.
  • Sneeze with the mouth open to minimize the pressure on your broken bones.
  • Try to avoid blowing your nose as it can cause more damage, especially if your fracture is close to the eye.

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