Facial Fractures

Facial fractures

INFORMATION AND WHAT TO DO

Facial fractures are broken bones on the face. This includes the nose, cheekbones, the area around the eyes, and the upper and lower jaw. Most of the time, they’re due to some kind of trauma to the face, like motor vehicle crashes. But how can you tell if you have a facial fracture?

Facial fractures are broken bones on the face. This includes the nose, cheekbones, the area around the eyes, and the upper and lower jaw. Most of the time, they’re due to some kind of trauma to the face, like motor vehicle crashes. But how can you tell if you have a facial fracture?

What Are The Symptoms of a Facial Fracture?

It all depends on which bones in the face are broken. Some things—like pain, swelling, and bruising—are symptoms of any kind of broken bone. But when it comes down to it, there are specific things to look out for when it comes to different types of fractures. Here’s what you can expect to experience with the main types of facial fractures:

Broken Nose (Nasal Fracture) 

  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Nosebleeds 
  • Bruising around the nose 
  • Difficulty breathing 

Forehead Fracture (Frontal Bone) 

  • The forehead may look as if it’s pushed inward 
  • Pain around the sinuses 
  • Injuries to the eyes 

Broken Cheekbone/Upper Jaw (Zygomatic Maxillary Fracture) 

  • Flatness of the cheek 
  • Altered sensation underneath the eye on the affected side 
  • Problems with eyesight 
  • Pain with jaw movement

Broken Nose (Nasal Fracture) 

  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Nosebleeds 
  • Bruising around the nose 
  • Difficulty breathing 

Forehead Fracture (Frontal Bone) 

  • The forehead may look as if it’s pushed inward 
  • Pain around the sinuses 
  • Injuries to the eyes 

Broken Cheekbone/Upper Jaw (Zygomatic Maxillary Fracture)

  • Flatness of the cheek 
  • Altered sensation underneath the eye on the affected side 
  • Problems with eyesight 
  • Pain with jaw movement

When to Seek Medical Care

If you have a facial injury, see your doctor as soon as possible. Some facial fractures can be life-threatening and things could go south if they are left untreated. On the other hand, others can cause problems with your respiratory system, airway passages, central nervous system, or vision that can’t be reversed. So, how are these issues diagnosed?

How Are Facial Fractures Diagnosed?

The physical examination and types of tests your doctor orders will depend on the type of injury you have. Your doctor will examine your face for any signs of swelling and pain and will also check for any changes in mobility. You’ll probably have X-rays taken as well to double-check for further issues. Thankfully, most fractures will show up clearly on these tests. While there is no way to completely prevent facial fractures, wearing protective gear and/or a seat belt when driving any vehicle is a smart and safe way to protect your body and the bones inside it!

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