Trauma from various causes can damage both the hard and soft tissues of our bodies including the face. Trauma can be due to many causes: road accidents, falls, sporting injuries and assaults are the most common. Most trauma patients would normally be seen initially by a doctor in the emergency department of one of the larger hospitals where any serious or life threatening injuries can be identified and treated. If you have been injured (other than very superficial injuries) or think you have been injured always err on the side of caution and be seen by a doctor in an emergency department.
Serious injuries are not always apparent and damage to the brain, spine or vital organs may have occurred and will need treatment by the appropriate specialist. Once stable, patients with maxillofacial injuries can be assessed and treated either as an inpatient or as an outpatient if the patient has been discharged. Trauma patients sometimes require the input of several specialists from different disciplines. If you have been discharged from hospital but your condition is deteriorating in any way you should seek medical advice from the hospital where you were treated.
Patients with facial injuries need a thorough examination and special tests such as radiographs (Xrays) or CAT scans. If there is any risk that the eyes have been damaged then vision needs to be tested and referral to an Opthalmologist considered. If you are experiencing visual deterioration you should see an Opthalmologist urgently. Sometimes only soft tissues are injured and these are treated as required. Often both hard and soft tissues are injured and may need to be treated.
Facial bones commonly fractured include the lower jaw (mandible), the upper jaw (maxilla), the nasal bones, the cheek bone (zygoma) and the bones around the orbit. In addition to bone, teeth can be the other hard tissue that is affected by trauma.
Our specialist doctors are trained in the diagnosis and management of a broad range of facial fractures. If treatment is indicated they will be happy to discuss options, length of hospital stay (if required) risks, common side effects and expected outcomes. Limitations of treatment, recovery times and informed financial consent will be discussed. Referral to other specialists will be made if required.