Ever seen someone take a fall or a punch to the face and wondered if they had to go to the hospital for that? These types of things can cause a fractured cheekbone. We’ll answer the question, “does a fractured cheekbone need surgery” below.
Does a Fractured Cheekbone Need Surgery?
Cheekbone fractures, also known as zygomas or orbital fractures, are a type of maxillofacial trauma. There are several ways this can happen, but some of the most common include car accidents, assaults, falls and sports. After such an incident, the patient has what is often referred to as a “flat” cheek appearance. They have difficulty chewing, numbness in the midface area and a hard time trying to open their mouth. They can also experience a bloodshot eye, blurred vision, and restriction of eye movement. Injuries such as this can be serious because they can cause not only facial disfigurement, but also lead to loss of facial function if not professionally treated.
What Tests are Given to Confirm if a Zygoma is Broken?
The common tests that an office will order for the patient are X-rays, CT scan and an eye movement and vision test. Once it has determined the cheekbone is broken the surgeon will decide if surgery is needed. Sometimes depending on the situation, such as if the cheekbone fracture is stable, no surgery is recommended. But, it will be advised if it affects the daily function of the patient or causes a cosmetic defect.
What does Surgery to the Zygoma Involve?
The patient is under anesthesia and cuts are made inside the mouth and if needed near the temple, eyebrow and lower eyelid. The cheekbone is repositioned, and metal plates and screws are used to hold it in place. These are used if necessary. Stitches are used in surgery to close the cuts.
What are the Risks of Surgery?
As with any surgery, there are risks. One of the risks is the cheekbone may not be restored to how it looked before, or numbness may persist. Scars may also show where cuts were made, and bleeding may occur in/around the eye socket.
Recovery after Facial Surgery
The time off work or school varies per patient, but it’s usually several weeks. This includes soft foods and no blowing your nose for several weeks. Good oral hygiene is always recommended, as is taking your medications and keeping all follow-up appointments with your physician.
Having a traumatic incident like this happen to you or a loved one is never enjoyable. But, our skilled oral surgeons at East Brainerd Oral Surgery have years of professional experience. Call us at (423) 296-8210 to set up your appointment today.