Facial bone fractures can occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents, domestic violence, sports injuries, injuries at the workplace, as a result of weakened bones after a dental procedure or dental conditions. Facial fractures include any broken bones in the nose, forehead, cheekbones, the upper and lower jaw, and the bones around the eyes or combinations thereof.
Treatment of facial bone fractures will depend on the type and extent of the injury. In most cases, Dr Kruger will ask for x-rays, and CT Scans to view the fracture in detail before planning treatment that may involve complicated surgeries. Facial fractures could be a simple mandible (lower jaw) fracture but may involve the frontal bone (forehead), orbits (eye sockets), zygomatic bones (cheekbone), maxilla (top jaw) as well as a nasal bone fracture. Fractures can be complicated by compound fracturing of the mid-face according to the so-called Le Fort facial fracture patterns.
Management of maxillofacial trauma may thus involve open reduction and internal fixation under general anaesthesia. This surgery aims to move the bones back into their original position and to secure the fragments with microplates and screws to restore the functioning of the structures within the face.
Broken facial bones result in pain and swelling over the affected area as well as bruising of the overlying skin. Subtler complications may be evident too, such as eye muscle entrapment, facial nerve paraesthesia or numbness, visual disturbances, numbness of the overlying skin, double vision, to name a few. If left untreated, it may lead to permanent impairment and unsightly cosmetic defects.
Dr Kruger is a registered specialist in Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery and is highly qualified to manage and treat these fractures in order to prevent any of these complications from arising.