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See the Expert for Blowout Fracture of the Orbit

Because she is an Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic Surgeon, eyes are her first priority. The most common fracture that occurs in the bones around the eye is called a Blowout fracture. When considering treatment for a blowout fracture, it is of paramount importance to see an expert with extensive experience in the repair of this serious injury. Dr. Sherman is Board Certified and has fellowship training in Oculoplastic and Eye Plastic surgery, so she is uniquely qualified to correct orbital blowout fractures. She knows the eye and orbital boney anatomy to the highest degree. As an Occuloplastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience, she is well qualified to examine you and discuss with you all available treatment options.

What is a blowout fracture of the orbit?

A blowout fracture of the orbit is an injury that results in a fracture of the thin bones that surround the eye. A forceful impact to the bones around the eye can cause the thin bones surrounding the eye to “blowout” or fracture. This can leave the orbital bones out of position, which can affect eye muscle movement and cause a sinking of the tissues around the eye.

What are the symptoms of a blowout fracture of the orbit?

BeforeAfter
Note that patient has restriction on upgaze with blowout fractureNote that patient has improved upgaze after surgery to repair blowout fracture
  • Double vision or restriction of eye movement, especially in up gaze
  • Numbness of the lower lid, lip, and cheek should make one suspicious for an orbital fracture
  • Eye pain, facial pain, and facial swelling.

In some cases, the eye itself is not seriously injured, but the lower eye muscles may become trapped in the broken bones. This can prevent the injured eye from moving normally, thus explaining the double vision or a pulling sensation on eye movement that often occurs.

How is a blowout fracture of the orbit treated?

First, a complete eye exam is performed by an ophthalmologist to assess the extent of the eye injuries. Sometimes eye injuries, such as eyeball and eyelid lacerations, can occur as a result of the blowout fracture. If the ophthalmologist suspects the presence of an orbital fracture, diagnosis of orbital fractures is best made by CT scan. Once the fracture is reviewed on the CT scan and the patient is examined, Dr. Sherman will discuss what types of treatment are needed to repair the orbital fracture for best results.

Treatment for a blowout fracture of the orbit includes cold compresses, pain medications, and wound irrigation and cleansing. Some injuries may require surgical repair to realign bones and restore normal eye movement. If there is only an orbital fracture and no other significant injury, surgical orbital fracture repair is often performed in an outpatient surgery center, with the patient usually being allowed to go home 1-2 hours after surgery.

Dr. Sherman performs an advance technique for the orbital blow-out fracture repair, all done through a hidden incision behind the lower eyelid, minimizing visible scars. She also uses a variety of the latest thin orbital implants to seal the hole in the orbit caused by the fracture. This surgery to place an orbital implant for orbital fracture repair often leaves little or no scarring, and the recovery period is usually brief.

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