Orbital Fractures

The structure that surrounds your eye to protect it and keep it in place are “orbital bones.” If these bones become fractured usually because of a blunt impact there is a chance they can heal on their own but if you were to suffer a more severe injury you may need corrective surgery to reconstruct the eye socket. SightMD offers complete care for these types of injuries – called “orbital fractures.” Our advanced techniques allow us to correct double vision and obstructed eye movement that may result from these injuries.

Different Types of Orbital Fracture

Any of the bones surrounding the eye can be fractured, or broken. Here are types of orbital fractures:

Orbital Rim Fracture

This injury affects the bony outer edges of the eye socket. Because the rim is made up of very thick bone, an injury to this area has to carry a lot of force for a fracture to occur. Car accidents are one of the main causes of this kind of fracture. If someone has an orbital rim fracture, it is likely they have other injuries to the face, and possibly the optic nerve.

Blowout Fracture

A blowout fracture is a break in the floor or inner wall of the orbit or eye socket. A crack in the very thin bone that makes up these walls can pinch muscles and other structures around the eye, keeping the eyeball from moving properly. Getting hit with a baseball or a fist often causes a blowout fracture.

Orbital Floor Fracture

This is when a blow or trauma to the orbital rim pushes the bones back, causing the bones of the eye socket floor buckle to downward. This fracture can also affect the muscles and nerves around the eye, keeping it from moving properly and feeling normal.

orbital fracture

What Are Orbital Fracture Symptoms?

Symptoms of an orbital fracture will depend on what kind of fracture it is and how severe the injury is. Symptoms can include:

  • Blurry, Decreased Or Double Vision

  • Black And Blue Bruising Around The Eyes

  • Swelling Of The Forehead Or Cheek

  • Swollen Skin Under The Eye

  • Numbness In The Injured Side Of The Face

  • Blood In The White Part Of The Eye

  • Difficulty Moving The Eye To Look Left, Right, Up Or Down

  • Flattened Cheek

  • Intense Cheek Pain When Opening The Mouth

  • Bulging Or Sunken Eyeballs

Diagnosing Orbital Fractures

To check for an orbital fracture, an ophthalmologist will examine the eye and the area around it. They will take pictures of the eye and the eye socket, including x-rays and CT scans.

The ophthalmologist will check to see if the eye moves as it should, and if there are any vision problems. They might also measure the eye to see if it is positioned properly in the eye socket.

Treatment for Orbital Fractures

In many cases, orbital fractures do not need to be treated with surgery. If an orbital fracture is small, your ophthalmologist may recommend placing ice packs on the area to reduce swelling and allow the eye socket to heal on its own over time and sometimes antibiotics and decongestants are prescribed as well. People with an orbital fracture should avoid blowing their nose for a while as they heal.

An orbital fracture is more severe when it keeps the eye from moving properly, causes double vision or has repositioned the eyeball in its socket. In this case, the ophthalmologist may refer the patient to an oculoplastic surgeon (a specially trained ophthalmologist) for surgery.

In many situations, the oculoplastic surgeon will choose to wait for a period of time to see how the healing process goes before doing surgery. Waiting until swelling goes down before surgery often leads to better outcomes and if the orbital fracture symptoms go away, it may be possible to avoid having surgery and any possible related complications.

An ophthalmologist is a physician and surgeon who is specifically trained to examine the eye after injury and assess the best treatment plan.

What to expect for surgery for Orbital Fractures

If your symptoms are more serious, the doctors at SightMD will take X-rays and CT scans to determine their exact location and severity. Surgery is very often the best treatment option for more serious cases. SightMD offers different types of orbital surgery, and can help determine the best option for you. Doctors perform the procedure with the use of general anesthesia. Your surgeon will begin by freeing any trapped eye muscles then they will use precise techniques to restore your appearance and overall health and function of your eye. In some cases that are very serious, they may have to repair the orbital bone structure with the use of synthetic materials.

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of an orbital fracture,Contact SightMD today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss your Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery options at one of our convenient locations!

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