Facial Fracture Repair

Dr. Furze is extremely adept in treating all types of facial fractures by way of a customized reparative plan.

Facial Fracture Repair in Orange County

Facial fractures often occur during an accident or trauma that also causes more serious injuries. As such, facial fractures are usually first identified in the emergency room. Facial fracture repairs are not performed until any life-threatening issues are addressed and the patient is stabilized. At this point, the patient may be referred to a facial surgeon, such as Dr. Alexis Furze, for facial fracture repair.

Symptoms & Causes of Facial Fractures

Facial fractures are diagnosed when one or more of the four main bones of the face are broken. The fracture is named for the place in which it occurs – orbital fracture, jaw fracture, mid-face fracture, and nasal fracture. Dr. Furze is highly experienced in treating all types of facial fractures. The table below outlines the symptoms and common causes of the four primary types of facial fractures.

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Fracture type Symptoms Common causes
Orbital (eye socket) fracture
  • Substantial swelling and bruising around the eye
  • Numbness just below the injured eye
  • Blurry or double vision
Direct trauma to the front of the face, often as a result of a fight or sports injury
Jaw fracture
  • Pain and tenderness in the jaw
  • Bruising and swelling around jaw
  • Jaw stiffness and/or inability to close mouth completely
  • Numbness in lower lip or chin
Injury to the face caused by an assault, car accident, trip or fall, sports injury, or work-related injury
Mid-face (cheek) fracture
  • Swelling
  • Double vision or other visual problems
  • Facial numbness
  • Inability to open mouth fully and/or improper teeth alignment
Injury caused by high-speed trauma, such as a car accident
Nasal fracture
  • Swelling and pain
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Bruising around the eyes
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Crooked or altered appearance of nose
Injury incurred during a car accident, contact sports, activities such as cycling or skateboarding, or a fistfight

Repairing Facial Fractures

When a facial fracture is suspected, Dr. Furze will order a CT scan if one has not already been performed. In some cases, additional imaging, such as a dental x-ray, may be required. Once Dr. Furze has a clear view of the damage that has occurred, he creates a tailored plan to repair the facial fracture.

Many, but not all, facial fractures will require surgery to repair the break. We have outlined below the most common techniques used to treat facial fractures.

Orbital Fracture:

Surgery may be required if the eyeball has a sunken appearance and/or the fracture is causing visual problems. During surgery, Dr. Furze carefully shifts the bones back into their normal position and uses a titanium plate to support the bones in their new position. Incisions are usually made within the lower eyelid so they won’t be visible after the surgery.

Jaw Fracture:

The goal of jaw surgery is to return the jaw to their original position so that proper bite function of the teeth is restored. In some cases, the jaw may need to be wired closed during the healing phase, requiring that the patient follow a liquid diet for this period of time. Dr. Furze may use titanium plates and screws to stabilize the jaw. He usually makes incisions in the mouth or in natural creases of the neck or jaw.

Mid-face Fracture:

When Dr. Furze performs surgery to mid-face fractures, his goal is to restore normal jaw function and facial contour. He makes incisions within the mouth, gums, or hairline so they will be concealed after surgery, and then shifts the bones back into their correct location. Screws and plates may be used to hold the bones in the correct position depending on which part of the cheek is fractured. Some mid-face bones may be too thin for screws, which can further damage the cheek bone.

Nasal Fracture:

If the nose appears physically normal and breathing is not impaired, then a nasal fracture can be left to heal on its own. When the nose is deformed due to a fracture, manual realignment may be sufficient to correct the issue. Dr. Furze is proficient in performing manual realignment of the nose after a fracture, which helps many of his patients avoid surgery. When manual realignment cannot be performed or is not successful, surgery to repair the fracture may be required.

Facial Fracture Repair – FAQs

Q How long do facial fractures take to heal?

A number of factors are involved here. It really depends on which bone is fractured, how bad your fracture is, and if you follow your doctor’s instructions. Within a week, inflammation of the affected area starts up. This can cause problems if the bones are out of place, and can often require plates and screws to set the bones in place.

After a few weeks, the initial swelling starts to subside, and the bones are well on their way to re-attaching. In most cases, the bones will have healed by 6-8 weeks, but patients can sometimes report lingering issues for up to 5-6 months.

Q I have a broken nose. Do I really need surgery?

This depends on how bad your break was. Following a nasal fracture, we highly recommend that you schedule an appointment within two weeks. In many cases, we can set the nose back in its proper place (a closed procedure), and your body will take care of the rest. If you wait longer than two weeks, you run the risk of deformation.

If your break is more extensive, you may need an open procedure, where we need to go in and reconstruct the inner anatomy of the nose.

Q Why is my face numb?

Our bones are full of holes called foramens, where nerves and arteries pass to connect with our tissue. During a facial fracture, these holes can be pinched or severed completely. If you feel a numbness or tingling feeling in your face following a facial fracture, there’s a very good chance this is what is occurring. In many cases, this will clear up on its own, but repairing the nerves may become an option in the case of facial reconstruction.

Q Will I be given medications during my recovery period?

In most cases, yes. Given the importance of our faces, and the amount of innervation connected to the different parts, it’s normal to have pain and inflammation during the recovery period. Common medications include anti-inflammatories, painkillers, and antibiotics to prevent infection.

Q What should I avoid doing while my face heals?

This is something that we will discuss with you in person, but some tips include keeping yourself well-hydrated, not sleeping on your side or stomach, avoiding any physical activity other than walking, and not consuming any alcohol. How your facial fracture heals will be heavily dependent on how well you take care of yourself during the recovery period.

Dr. Furze has performed facial fracture repairs on patients all across Orange County. If you think you may have a facial fracture, it is important to visit a medical professional for an examination in case of life-threatening issues. Contact our Newport Beach office at (800) 498-3223 for more information.

What Our Patients are Saying

“I am a rhinoplasty surgery patient and it took me 9 years to finally choose a surgeon to trust with my nose”

Dr. Alexis is a pleasant young doctor who is knowledgeable and willing to take the time to answer your questions and cover all your concerns so that you feel good when you leave his office. I definitely recommend him if ever need his services.

Dr. Furze is easy to communicate with, and is meeting all my post op needs. Of course this is after a successful surgery that I fully understood and was scheduled on my terms as immediate as was needed.

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