The bones around the eye (orbital bones) provide protection of the globe with blunt trauma. Consequently, these bones are often broken with facial injury, resulting in an orbital fracture. Most commonly the medial wall and floor are broken as these are among the thinnest bones in the body. Less commonly the lateral wall and orbital roof are involved. Depending on the significance of the trauma, other facial bones may be broken as well. A careful ophthalmic examination is first required to make sure the eye itself is not involved and to determine the extent of the surrounding injuries.
Symptoms of orbital fracture can include swelling of the eyelids, bruising of the eyelids, pain in the eye (especially with movement), double vision, appearance of a sunken eye (or asymmetry between the two eyes), numbness of upper teeth and cheek, and decreased movement of the affected eye. The presence of a fracture is confirmed with a CT scan.
A thorough evaluation is needed to determine if surgery is warranted. If surgery is needed, it is often undertaken approximately 2 weeks after the injury to allow for interim resolution of swelling and bruising. If an extraocular muscle (a muscle which moves the eye) is entrapped in the fracture site, surgery should take place more urgently.
Contact Dr. Hui at 760.610.2677 to learn more about eyelid evaluation and treatment for Orbital Fractures.