A facial fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in your face and can include those around your eye, cheekbone, nose and jaw. Facial fractures can occur if you are involved in an accident, suffer trauma to the face or play contact sports. Patients may be referred to Coastal Oral and Facial Surgery direct from the hospital emergency ward or from a treating general practitioner.
In order to determine the right procedure to fix the fracture, we will check your facial movements, take x-rays and may also do a CT scan.
If the fracture relates to the lower jaw, an operation is generally required within 48 hours of the fracture occurring. For fractures to the upper face, it is preferable to wait around 7 days for any swelling to subside before surgery commences.
How long will it take?
Some facial fractures can be left to heal on their own with the support of appropriate pain and antibiotic medicines. If surgery is required, this may take one or several hours depending on the location and severity of the fracture. Surgery usually involves the insertion of small titanium plates under the skin to hold the bone in the correct position. The plates are inserted either via the mouth or through tiny incisions in the face, which are almost invisible.
If you need to go to hospital for surgery, you may be able to attend as a day patient, or you may need to stay overnight or for a few days.
Most types of facial surgery are performed under general anaesthetic.
Facial Fracture care
If you require surgery, we will give you specific instructions relating to the care of your fracture. General care includes:
- Applying ice to decrease pain and swelling
- Keeping your head elevated
- Cleaning you teeth with a soft toothbrush and with extra care
- Avoiding putting any pressure on your face
- Restricted soft diet