Facial trauma is a physically, emotionally, and financially devastating experience. If you or someone you know has suffered this kind of serious facial injury, there can be a lot of uncertainties.
For many people in these emotionally charged situations, understanding the role that a professional can play in recovering from facial trauma can be confusing. We are here to provide comfort and reassurance during this difficult time.
In this article titled “Facial Trauma FAQs”, we will provide answers to some common questions about facial trauma treatment and recovery options so you can feel more confident when looking for medical assistance.
What types of facial injuries need surgery?
Anyone who experiences any kind of trauma to the face should seek medical attention, as certain types of injury will require surgery. Examples include fractures of the facial bones, damage to an eye socket, or injuries involving permanent deformities.
If there is a break in a facial bone, such as a broken nose, jawbone, or cheekbone, then surgery may be needed to reduce swelling and restore the correct alignment of the bones. It may also involve placing plates and screws inside the face to hold bones in place while they heal correctly.
Severe lacerations or deep cuts can also need surgical treatment. Debridement or cleaning out the wound may be necessary if it is infected or disturbed by foreign objects such as dirt or gravel. In some cases, reconstructive plastic surgery may be needed if muscles are torn extensively.
How do you know if you have facial fractures?
If you suspect that you have a facial fracture, the best thing to do is visit your doctor or an emergency room for an immediate evaluation. Physical symptoms, such as significant pain, swelling, and bruising in the face or around the eye area could be signs of a possible fracture. However, only a physician can accurately diagnose facial fractures since they require special imaging tests like X-rays and/or a CT scan.
In some cases, physical signs alone are enough to make a diagnosis. For example, if there’s an obvious deformity of your nose or cheekbone it’s likely a sign that something is broken and needs further evaluation. If you sustain trauma to your jaw area it’s important to see a doctor right away since this type of injury can cause more serious complications like numbness or paralysis if left untreated.
What if I think I only bruised or cut my face?
If you think you’ve only bruised or cut your face, it’s always smart to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even a small cut can cause serious health complications if left untreated for too long. Plus, sometimes bruises and cuts can be more severe than you might think, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The doctor will likely assess the severity of the bruise or cut and decide what kind of treatment is needed. Depending on the extent of the damage, they might recommend topical anti-inflammatories or cleaning the wound with diluted hydrogen peroxide. They might even refer you to a specialist in facial trauma if they think that’s necessary.
Bottom line: When it comes to facial trauma, never underestimate a small cut or bruise! It’s always best to consult with a doctor to make sure that any injury you have is tended to in the right way.
Can facial fractures affect my eyesight?
Yes, facial fractures can affect your eyesight. Facial trauma such as an orbital blow-out fracture can result in reduced vision due to the force and impact of the trauma causing damage to the delicate eye structure. For example, a fracture at the base of the skull or maxillofacial region can cause disruption to your pressure chambers which impacts your vision.
It is always important to contact a doctor right away if you have facial trauma so that they can assess and properly diagnose any potential issues with your eyesight. In cases where a patient has suffered orbital trauma, doctors may prescribe glasses, patches, drops, or surgery depending on the severity of the injury. Thus it is critical to be evaluated by a medical specialist as soon as possible after facial injuries occur.
How about my hearing and sense of smell, Does facial trauma affect them too?
The answer is that facial trauma can often affect hearing and sense of smell in different ways. Depending on the severity of the trauma, these two senses can either be partially or fully impaired. Traumatic facial injuries can cause physical damage to the delicate structures located in the ears and nose. This physical damage can directly impair hearing, balance, and smell.
In terms of hearing loss, it is important to be aware that a traumatic injury to the ear canal or eardrum may mean you suffer from conductive hearing loss. This type of hearing loss occurs when sound waves are unable to reach your inner ear as a result of physical blockage caused by tissue damage. Additionally, there are some cases where facial trauma results in nerve damage which prevents signals from reaching the brain and thereby affects both senses of smell and hearing functions.
When it comes to the sense of smell, facial trauma can also have an effect on it. If there is significant injury or trauma occurring around your nose or sinuses this could cause swelling which will reduce airflow connecting with our olfactory (smell) receptors leading to a deficiency in our ability to smell/taste. Thus, if you experience any kind of facial trauma make sure you get checked out by a medical professional right away as your sense of smell and hearing will need monitoring following treatment for proper healing!
How do you treat facial fractures?
Facial fractures can be highly complex and require a range of treatments, including surgery. Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, your doctor may use specialized instruments to realign broken bones; reconstruct facial soft tissues; or place plates and screws to help hold the bones in their correct positions. In some cases, surrounding tissues or facial muscles may need to be treated or repaired as well.
Surgery for facial fractures is typically done using general anesthesia with sedation and requires a long recovery process. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions related to diet, physical activity, lifestyle habits, and medications as needed during this recovery period. After the surgery is complete, it’s important that you follow all instructions from your doctor closely in order to ensure proper healing of your fracture.
Can plastic surgery reconstruct my facial feature after a facial trauma that alters it?
Yes, plastic surgery can reconstruct your facial features after a facial trauma alters them. Depending on the level of damage, techniques such as tissue expansion or skin grafts may be used to restore structure and symmetry to the face.
Tissue expansion is a process in which skin-covered saline implants are placed beneath the facial tissue to stretch it. This procedure helps to bridge large gaps between areas of significant trauma in order to create a more even surface area. At times, additional surgeries may be required if asymmetry is present.
Meanwhile, skin grafting involves taking small amounts of healthy skin from other parts of the body and transplanting it onto the affected area for reconstruction. The skin can come from areas such as your upper arm or lower leg and does not usually leave noticeable scarring afterward. Plastic surgeons will work closely with you throughout the process and do their best to create results that meet your expectations.
Lastly, dermal fillers may sometimes help in balancing the patient’s facial contour or features.
How about my broken or knocked-out tooth?
If you have a broken or knocked-out tooth due to facial trauma, the first thing to do is to contact your dentist. Depending upon the type and extent of the trauma, your dentist may recommend that you visit an emergency oral surgeon for evaluation and treatment.
When you go to see an oral surgeon for facial trauma, they’ll evaluate all of your teeth and bite as well as examine any displaced or damaged tissue. From there, they’ll formulate a plan for resolving the dental issue. If it’s just a cosmetic issue, like a chipped tooth, then bonding or veneers might be used to restore it back to its original size and shape.
However, if it’s a more serious injury, like if the tooth gets knocked out completely or if your dentist suspects root damage, then you may need more in-depth treatment such as dental implants or even reconstructive dentistry. Your oral surgeon will work with you to determine which option is best suited to restore your smile.