Broken bones in your face may leave you with minor significant problems. These are the bones that can affect breathing, eating, and speaking. If you think you have any facial fractures, you must talk with your doctor about your situation. Your doctor may provide a referral to a facial trauma surgeon to undergo surgery to get you back to normal.
Facial trauma can leave you with fractures in the facial bones. Your face has a complicated bone structure consisting of the frontal bone, zygomas, maxillary bones, mandible, nasal bones, and orbital bones. The facial structure also has bones deeper within with the muscles needed for chewing, swallowing, and talking attached to these bones.
Nasal fractures are relatively common, but other facial bones can also suffer trauma. You might have a single fracture or many broken bones. Motor vehicle accidents can leave you with multiple broken bones needing facial trauma treatment from a maxillofacial surgeon near you. You may suffer fractures to the unilateral or bilateral areas of the face.
You must seek prompt attention whenever you suffer from a facial injury. A few fractures are minor, but complicated fractures cause life-threatening irreversible damage. You have nerves and muscles responsible for expressions, sensations, and eye movements located near the bones of your face. The face is nearby the brain and the central nervous system. Facial trauma can result in damage to the cranial nerves depending on the specific location of the fracture. Fractures to the eye socket can result in vision problems, and fractures of the nose make it challenging for you to smell and breathe. Fractures to your jawbone can cause breathing problems or make it difficult for you to speak, chew, or swallow.
The medical personnel attending to you will determine whether the facial trauma affecting you is life-threatening. Life-threatening conditions need prompt attention before performing a thorough examination of the face. The physician checks to determine whether anything is blocking the airways or nasal passages, looks for damages to the central nervous system and assesses pupil size and reactions.
Inquiries are made about how and when the injury occurred. The patient or caregiver must provide information about whether the patient has any medical conditions or earlier facial injuries or surgery. Physical exams are performed looking for signs of asymmetry and damage to motor functions. The doctor looks at the face from different angles when examining the bones of the face by gently pressing on them.
Indications of orbital fractures include differences in the position of the eyeballs or sunken eyes. Nasal fractures require a series of x-rays to determine the extent of the trauma. You might not need x-rays for nasal fractures if the swelling and tenderness are confined to the bony ridge of the nose, and you can breathe through your nostrils.
If fractures are suspected, the healthcare provider may order CT scans to determine the precise location and type of fracture. You may need two-dimensional face CT scans or three-dimensional reconstructive scans if you have complicated fractures of the mid-face. The images are necessary for a correct diagnosis before facial reconstructive surgery for the best results.
The facial trauma surgeon prescribes pain relievers and oral steroids to alleviate the swelling. Antibiotics are also prescribed if you are at a high risk of infections.
Generally, facial fractures are treated by performing a closed reduction or open reduction surgery. Closed reduction involves resetting the broken bones without surgery, and open reduction requires incisions to reposition the fractured bones. Complicated fractures with multiple broken bones require reconstructive surgery.
The treatment you receive depends on the location and the extent of the injury. Facial trauma treatment aims to restore your usual appearance and functionality of the injured areas. Life-threatening conditions like blockages of the airways, cardiovascular issues, brain, and nervous system injuries need immediate treatment.
Facial trauma is not preventable, but you can undoubtedly take some steps to limit the extent of the injury. Wearing a seatbelt when driving a motor vehicle or a safety helmet operating a motorcycle helps prevent facial trauma. Using protective equipment like mouthguards when involved in sports and following safety guidelines at work by wearing protective gear if demanded by your job proves helpful.
Seeking prompt attention if you have any open wounds where you can see your bones of or affected by the blurred or double vision or problems moving your eyes and trouble swallowing or breathing. Your healthcare provider is an excellent professional to contact if you think you have broken any bone in your face. If the brakes are severe, they can cause problems over the long term. Therefore you must get facial trauma treated at the earliest.