The face is particularly vulnerable during a car collision due to the nature of the impact, as it is exposed and often comes into direct contact with the steering wheel, dashboard or airbag. Understanding the facial fracture types that can occur in car accidents can help victims and Florida healthcare professionals assess the extent of the injuries and determine the appropriate treatment.
The nose is a delicate structure that is susceptible to fractures upon impact. Nasal fractures can cause pain, swelling, deformity, difficulty breathing and bleeding from the nose. In severe cases, the fracture may require realignment or surgical intervention.
The maxilla is the bone that forms the upper jaw and part of the mid-face. Car accidents can cause fractures in different parts of the maxilla, such as the zygomaticomaxillary complex (cheekbone) or the orbital floor (eye socket). These fractures can lead to facial asymmetry, eye movement problems, double vision and difficulty chewing or speaking.
The mandible is your lower jawbone and a fracture in this area can cause pain, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, misalignment of the teeth and facial swelling. Depending on how severe the fracture is, treatment may involve immobilization with wiring or surgery.
The orbit, or eye socket, can sustain fractures in car collisions. Orbital fractures often cause eye pain, swelling, double vision or limitations in eye movement. Prompt evaluation by an ophthalmologist is crucial to assess and manage these fractures to prevent long-term visual complications.
Le Fort fractures
Le Fort fractures are severe and potentially deforming bone breaks that can involve multiple facial bones. These debilitating fractures can lead to difficulty breathing and problems with dental occlusion (how the upper and lower teeth fit together). Treatment for Le Fort fractures may require surgical intervention and collaboration among multiple specialists.
Car accidents can cause trauma to the teeth, resulting in chipped, cracked or knocked-out teeth. Dental fractures from a collision may require immediate dental intervention, including restorative procedures or tooth extraction.
Getting prompt medical attention
Facial fractures can be associated with other injuries, such as head trauma or internal organ damage. If you suspect that you have sustained facial fractures, seeking prompt medical attention is critical to determining the most appropriate treatment plan for recovery and rehabilitation.