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.
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.
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.
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.
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.