Facial Trauma Management
What Is Facial Trauma Management?
Any injury to the head and neck region can lead to trauma of the facial tissues including:
- Laceration of the facial skin, tongue and/or gums
- Fracture of the jaw bones, nasal bones and/or orbit
- Fracture / loosening / loss of teeth
All steps taken to treat these injuries comprise Facial Trauma Management and are performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Why Facial Trauma Management Is Done?
Common causes of facial trauma include
- Road traffic accidents
- Inter-personal violence
These may lead to fractures of the facial bones that can result in:
- Asymmetry of the face
- Excessive bruising around the eyes
- Bleeding from the nose / mouth
- Inability to open the mouth completely
- Difficulty in chewing
- Teeth not meeting properly
- Numbness in the lower lip region
What Facial Trauma Management Can / Can’t Do
- Repair lacerated tissues and decrease facial scars
- Align displaced bone fragments back into their normal position, correcting facial deformity
- Correct disturbed dental relationships
- Improve chewing efficiency
- Prevent future TMJ problems
- Correct pre-existing facial deformities
What is the Procedure of Facial Trauma Management ?
Many facial fractures can be managed without surgery using simple conservative fracture reduction techniques. Consult your maxillofacial surgeon to find out if this is a treatment option for you.
Most facial fractures require bones to be surgically set in place and fixed using small titanium plates. Rigid fixation of the fracture allows for early mobilization of the bones and a shorter recovery period than non-surgical techniques.
Facial fractures are treated by manually setting the displaced facial bones (reduction) in place and holding them in the correct position (immobilization) for a period of time that allows bones to heal.
Surgical reduction and fixation of fractures yields a more accurate outcome than non-surgical techniques and allows early return to normal function. These surgeries can be performed from inside the oral cavity, leaving no scars on the face.
Recovery After Facial Trauma Management?
Healing facial fractures require good post-operative care in terms of diet and wound hygiene. Depending on the extent of the injury, you may need:
- To be on soft food diet for up to 4 weeks
- A period of jaw closure (intermaxillary fixation) of 7-10 days
- Some facial swelling may be seen for up to 2 weeks after surgery
- Temporary numbness of the lip may be felt for up to 6-8 weeks after surgery
Risk involved in Facial Trauma Management ?
Improperly treated facial fractures may be associated with:
- Facial contour deformity
- Reduced chewing efficiency
- Jaw joint (TMJ) pain
- Persistent cheek and lip numbness