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Facial Fracture

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

A facial fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in your face. A facial fracture may also damage nearby tissue.

Skull

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.

You may need extra oxygen

if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Ask your healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.

Neurological signs:

Neurologic signs are also called neuro signs, neuro checks, or neuro status. Healthcare providers check your eyes, your memory, and how easily you wake up. Your hand grasp and balance may also be tested. This helps tell healthcare providers how your brain is working after an injury. You may need to have your neuro signs checked often. You may be woken to check your neuro signs.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Decongestants help decrease swelling in your nose and sinuses. This medicine may also help you breathe easier.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Steroids help decrease inflammation.
  • A tetanus shot may be needed if you have an open wound from your injury. You should have a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the past 5 to 10 years.

Tests:

  • An eye exam may be done to check your eyesight. This may also be done to check the nerves and tissue of your eyes for damage.
  • A CT scan or MRI may be done after surgery to check if your broken bones are in the proper position. You may be given contrast liquid to help the area show up better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

Treatment:

Cold packs may be placed on your face to prevent more swelling. If you have a broken nose, direct pressure or nasal packing may help stop any bleeding. You may also need any of the following:

  • Closed reduction is a procedure to move your broken bones back to their normal positions by hand. Closed reduction is often done to fix a broken nose. You will not need an incision for this procedure.
  • Endoscopy is a test that uses a scope to look inside your sinuses and eye socket. Small pieces of your broken bone may be removed. Devices may be placed to support the broken bones in your face.
  • Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) is surgery to help keep the bones from moving while they heal. Wires, screws, or plates are used to join broken facial bones.
  • Reconstructive surgery may be needed to fix damaged areas of your face. Your healthcare provider may need to remove pieces of your broken facial bones and replace them with a graft. A graft is healthy bone taken from another area of your body or from a donor.

Nutrition:

You may not be able to eat solid food for a period of time. You may first be started on a liquid diet, starting with 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.

RISKS:

Even with surgery, you may have uneven facial features, bulging eyes, vision changes, and permanent blindness. Bone and tissue grafts may move out of place and require another surgery. Plates and screws used to fix your bones may become infected or need to be replaced. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Ā© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 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 CareNotesĀ® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

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.