Bone Injuries of the Maxillofacial Region
Maxillofacial fractures are quite common in patients who have faced multiple trauma. Between five to ten percent of trauma patients admitted to emergency care are detected with facial fractures. It can happen to anyone who was involved in assaults, sports injuries, animal attacks, or falls. Midface bone injuries are handled with an acute level of caution due to their complexity.
The midface skeleton plays a crucial role in many functions, including vision, digestion, respiration, and more. It is essential to have a roadmap in place before starting with the treatment to ensure that patients get the highest level of care. If you are interested in learning more about maxillofacial trauma and its treatments, our staff at Beaverton Oral Surgeons would be happy to have you come in for a consultation.
What Are Facial Fractures?
Facial fractures are when bones in your facial skeleton break. This can include fracture of the lower and upper jaw, cheek bones, nose, or the eye sockets. While closed fractures may involve internal bleeding, open fractures can cause laceration of the skin and tissues. Majority of the facial fractures involve trauma to the lower jaw but due to their prominence, nose and cheekbones suffer damage quite frequently too.
Visible irregularities in the face are a tell-tale sign of maxillofacial trauma but without the intervention of a medical expert, the extent of the damage can not be assessed.
Symptoms of Maxillofacial Fractures
Although there is a bit of overlap, each person suffers from different symptoms when it comes to facial fractures. These may include excessive pain and swelling near the site of trauma. Some may have difficulty in breathing and swallowing if there is damage to the airways. Visible deformity or displacement, skin discoloration, or a crackling noise when the broken bones are rubbing against each other, are some of the other common symptoms of maxillofacial fracture.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your doctor will take a close look at the injuries and try to assess the situation as much as they can before turning to an x-ray. They will feel the facial bones to gauge the extent of deformity of the face. They may also look into your ears and nose for signs of internal bleeding or trauma to those parts. Discoloration of the skin is another sign that tells the nature and extent of damage endured during maxillofacial trauma.
The treatment for maxillofacial trauma is typically conducted in two steps. The first step, also known as reduction, involves restoring parts of the face that were damaged. In other words, the broken pieces of bones will be put back in their original position, however, this can only be done once the swelling has subsided. During the second part of the treatment, also known as fixation, the broken pieces of the bones will be held together until they fuse again and heal.
If you or someone in your family has endured facial trauma, chances are that it might be more serious than what appears on the surface. At Beaverton Oral Surgeons we have many years of experience in treating multiple trauma patients who endured facial fractures. Our staff can ensure to give you the highest level of care regardless of the complications in your case. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, give us a call at (971) 249-8370.