The treatment of facial bone fractures requires a high level of surgical experience and expertise.
Bone fractures in the facial region
Facial fractures may be caused by untypical or strong forces acting on the facial region. In theory, any facial bone can break. However, owing to the lightweight structure of the facial skull, some fractures are more common than others so that typical fracture patterns can be distinguished.
The most frequent causes of fractures in the facial region are sports injuries, road traffic accidents, falls or occupational accidents.
Many facial fractures involve soft tissue injuries. When soft tissue (e.g. skin) is affected, primary wound management is a must because accurate plastic reconstruction is of decisive importance for the aesthetic appearance of scars.
Occasionally, a fracture in the facial region may not be noticed immediately after the injury as it may be masked by the facial swelling. If functional impairment does not resolve within two days, further diagnostic evaluation by a specialist is necessary. Typical functional disorders resulting from facial fractures are dental occlusion problems (bite does not fit), restricted mouth opening, double vision or sensory disturbances (producing a “numb” feeling).
This is why we recommend that you undergo thorough physical examination and have X-rays – either conventional X-rays or, where necessary, slice imaging (e.g. CT scans) – to identify facial fractures.
The management of facial fractures involves a delicate surgical technique that requires extensive experience and expertise from surgeons. Surgery is generally performed under general anaesthesia. During the operation, an open fracture reduction is performed through minimally invasive incisions. Osteosynthesis plates (made of biocompatible titanium) are then inserted to stabilise the fractures in the correct anatomical position. The size of the osteosynthetic plates to be used depends on the expected load on the fractured bone. This approach restores function and aesthetic appearance.
Although the titanium plates are biocompatible, we recommend the removal upon complete bone healing (after 6 to 12 months, depending on the fracture type).
Facial bone fractures always require primary management during the first few days following the injury. The secondary correction of a fracture that has healed in a dislocated position and resulted in facial asymmetry or in the aforementioned functional impairment is a lot more complicated and frequently requires computer-navigated surgery.
The surgical management of facial fractures is performed by us personally, either at the hospital-based Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of Munich’s Paracelsus-Klinik or at one our partner clinics. We will, of course, look after our patients individually and personally throughout the entire duration of their inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Since our clinic is a centre of excellence in computer-navigated surgery, we use this technology both for primary reconstruction and in the correction of fractures healed in dislocated positions, when necessary.
We will be pleased to arrange a consultation at your convenience and answer any questions you may have concerning your specific needs. Because your face matters!