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Facial Fracture


A facial fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in your face. The bones in your face include those around your eye, your cheekbones, and the bones of your nose and jaw. A facial fracture may also cause damage to nearby tissue.



  • Decongestant medicine: Decongestants help decrease swelling in your nose and sinuses. This medicine may also help you breathe easier.
  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
  • Steroid medicine: This medicine helps decrease swelling in your face.
  • Antibiotic medicine: Antibiotic medicine helps treat an infection caused by bacteria. This medicine may be given if you have an open wound.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


You may not be able to eat solid food for a period of time. You may first be started on a liquid diet. Examples of liquids you may be able to have include, water, broth, gelatin, apple juice, or lemon-lime soda pop. After a few days, you may be allowed to eat soft foods, such as applesauce, bananas, cooked cereal, cottage cheese, pudding, and yogurt. Ask for more information about the type of foods you can eat.


If you had surgery to fix your facial fracture, you may need oral and facial rehabilitation. This is done to restore normal use and movement of your facial muscles. Ask for more information about rehabilitation.

Help prevent a facial fracture:

  • Wear a helmet when you ride a bicycle or a motorcycle.
  • Wear a seatbelt at all times when you are inside a motor vehicle.
  • Wear protective headgear and eyewear during sporting activities.


  • Apply ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your face for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as directed.
  • Keep your head elevated: Keep you head above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your head on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
  • Avoid putting pressure on your face:
    • Do not sleep on the injured side of your face. Pressure on the area of your injury may cause further damage.
    • Sneeze with your mouth open to decrease pressure on your broken facial bones. Too much pressure from a sneeze may cause your broken bones to move and cause more damage.
    • Try not to blow your nose because it may cause more damage if you have a fracture near your eye. The pressure from blowing your nose may pinch the nerve of your eye and cause permanent damage.
  • Clean your mouth carefully: It may be hard to clean your teeth if have an injury or fracture near your mouth. Your will be shown the best way to do this so you do not hurt yourself. A water pick or a child-sized soft toothbrush may work well to clean your mouth.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You are bleeding from a wound on your face.
  • You have double vision or you suddenly have problems with your eyesight.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have clear or pinkish fluid draining from your nose or mouth.
  • You have numbness in your face.
  • You have worsening pain in your eye or face.
  • You suddenly have trouble chewing or swallowing.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.