Facial trauma is an injury of the face. It may include the facial bones such as the upper jaw bone (maxilla).
Maxillofacial injury; Midface trauma; Facial injury; LeFort injuries
Facial injuries can affect the upper jaw, lower jaw, cheek, nose, eye socket, or forehead. They may be caused by blunt force or be the result of a wound.
Common causes of injury to the face include:
Symptoms may include:
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam, which may show:
The following may suggest bone fractures:
A CT scan of the head and bones of the face may be done.
Surgery is done if the injury prevents normal functioning or causes a major deformity.
The goal of treatment is to:
Treatment should be done as soon as possible if the person is stable and does not have a neck fracture.
Most people do very well with proper treatment. More surgery may be needed in 6 to 12 months to correct changes in appearance.
Complications may include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if you have a severe injury to your face.
Wear seat belts while driving.
Use protective head gear when doing work or activities that could injure the face.
Kellman RM. Maxillofacial trauma. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 23.
Mayersak RJ. Facial trauma. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 35.
Neligan PC, Buck DW, Facial injuries. In: Neligan PC, Buck DW, eds. Core Procedures in Plastic Surgery. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 9.
Review Date: 7/29/2019
Reviewed By: Anna C. Edens Hurst, MD, MS, Assistant Professor in Medical Genetics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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