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Jaw Fracture In Adults

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A jaw fracture is a break in your jawbone. It may take weeks or months for the jawbone to heal.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Treatments, such as surgery, may lead to swelling, pain, bruising, bleeding, and infection. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. Without treatment, you may have trouble eating or opening your mouth.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

  • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Tetanus shot: If you have an open wound from your injury, you may need a tetanus shot. Tetanus bacteria can enter your body through a wound and make you very sick. A tetanus shot is medicine to help prevent you from getting the bacteria. You should have a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the past 5 to 10 years. Your arm may become red, swollen, and sore after this shot.

Tests:

  • X-ray: You may need more than one x-ray of your jaw.

  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your jaw. This test may be done after surgery to check if your broken bones are in the proper position. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

Treatments:

  • Closed reduction: During this procedure, your caregiver moves your broken jawbones back to their normal position. You will not need an incision for this procedure. Ask your caregiver for more information about closed reduction.

  • Jaw wiring: A wire may be used to hold your jaw in place and keep it from moving. This will help the bones heal the right way.

  • Surgery: You may need to have surgery if you have a bad break in your jaw.

Nutrition:

If your jaw is wired, you will need to eat foods that have been blended with liquids. You will have to eat these foods through a syringe or straw. If your mouth is not wired, you may need to eat only soft foods. Some examples are applesauce, bananas, cooked cereal, cottage cheese, gelatin, pudding, and yogurt. Ask your caregiver for more information about the type of foods you can eat.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Jaw Fracture In Adults (Inpatient Care)

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