Orbital Fractures

skull fracture illustrationThe orbital bones surround the eye, protecting it and holding it in place. When these bones fracture (usually because of a blunt impact) they can sometimes heal on their own. However, more severe injuries may require corrective surgery to reconstruct your eye socket. At SightMD, we offer complete care for orbital fractures. Our advanced techniques allow us to correct double vision and obstructed eye movement resulting from orbital fractures.

What Are Orbital Fractures?

Orbital fractures are typically caused by a hard blow to the face. There are two primary types of orbital fractures:

  • Indirect floor fractures: Also known as “blowout fractures,” these are the most common type of orbital trauma. They occur when the thin floor of the eye socket cracks, leaving the rim unaffected. The crack or hole in the orbital floor can trap eye muscles and surrounding tissues, impeding normal eye movement.
  • Orbital rim fractures: These breaks affect both the floor and the rim of the eye socket. They typically occur after a severe blow, which could also affect other facial bones and the optic nerve.

If you only have a minor floor fracture, your symptoms may include bruising, swelling, pain, and nose bleeds. More severe breaks can present symptoms such as double vision, pain when moving the eye, numbness, trapped air under the skin around the eye, protruding eyes, and sunken eyes.

Treatment and Repair for Orbital Fractures

If you have any of the symptoms of an orbital fracture, you should seek medical treatment to check for more severe injuries. Minor orbital fractures may heal with at-home care prescribed by specialist. Treatments include:

  • Ice packs
  • Decongestants, which can clear blood and fluid from your sinuses
  • Steroids
  • Antibiotics

You should also avoid blowing your nose as you are healing, since this can cause your fractured bones to shift out of position.

If you present symptoms of more severe trauma, our doctors will take x-rays and CT scans to determine the exact location and extent of your fracture. Often, surgery is the best treatment option for these more serious breaks, especially if you are suffering from double vision, or if your eye movement has become compromised. We offer several types of orbital surgery, and your doctor will determine the best type for your needs and ocular health. Your procedure will be performed using general anesthesia to ensure your comfort. First, your surgeon will free any trapped eye muscles. Next, the surgeon will use precise techniques to restore your appearance and facilitate the proper health and function of your eye. In cases of severe orbital floor damage, the structure may need to be repaired using synthetic materials.

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