Facial trauma is any physical trauma to the face, jaw bones or the teeth. It can be sometimes quite serious and requires an emergency attention. It is also called maxillofacial trauma. Many of the times facial trauma results from road accidents, falls, assaults, sports injuries and violence. Better and timely medical care is essential for minimizing post traumatic facial deformities.
The hazardous health effects which could result from maxillofacial trauma are nasal bone fractures, jaw bone fracture, eye injuries, loss of multiple teeth and soft tissue injuries like skin lacerations, abrasions and burns.
It can impart life-threatening problems like airway compromise, nerve damages, infection, orbital fracture, severe hemorrhage and permanent facial deformities.
Some of the common symptoms
- Sensory changes like numbness in a particular part of the face.
- Difficulty in breathing
- Deformed facial bones
- Missing teeth or tooth avulsions
- Swelling around eyes, visual disturbances, redness of the eye and even loss of vision or double vision.
- Lacerations or breaks in the skin
- Widening of distance between eyes
Accurate diagnosis and timely emergency medical attention by a team of specialists is all that needed to limit the amount of permanent deformity and damage to the face.
The primary step of treatment following an accident or any trauma to the face is always detection and treatment of any life-threatening injuries in patients. Airway may be blocked by bleeding, bone fragments and broken teeth. Creating a clear airway is necessary for stabilizing normal breathing of patient. Injuries can cause extensive bleeding and obstructions in circulation, which could be disastrous. Lacerations in the face, scalp, cheek and neck should be closed as soon as possible to prevent unsightly facial scars or infections. Sometimes severe lacerations may need general anesthesia for proper proceedings. The facial burns may be severely painful depending on the depth of penetration.
After primary treatment, it is necessary to repair other traumatic injuries and to restore impaired body functions as soon as possible. Craniofacial reconstruction or management of bony injuries in maxillo facial region is usually performed at this stage. Injuries would be mapped using X-rays and digital tomography to plan the best possible treatment.
Rhinoplasty, bone grafts and tissue transplants are used for correcting various structural deformities resulting from trauma.
How to Prevent?Wear full-face helmet while driving two wheelersUse of seat belts and airbags in carGum shields to avoid sports injuries