First aid first and initial symptoms of a broken bone in the face
The face may be injured in a fall, accident, sports injury or even being punched.
Symptoms of a broken bone in the face or other facial injury include swelling, bruising, tenderness and some visible deformity.
Common facial injuries include a broken nose, broken jaw or dislocated jaw.
Other facial injuries include:
Cheekbone (zygomatic) fracture symptoms
- Flatness of the cheek
- Altered sensation underneath the eye on the affected side
- Visual complaints
- Pain with jaw movement
- Blood in the side of the eye on the affected side sometimes is present
Eye socket (orbital) fracture symptoms
This fracture involves the bones of the eye socket.
Injury usually occurs when a blunt object hits the eye such as a fist or a ball.
- Sunken eye (enophthalmos)
- Altered sensation beneath the affected eye
- Double vision, particularly with upward gaze
When to seek medical care
A doctor should check any significant facial injury. You can either see your doctor or go to the A&E department.
A doctor should check all people with facial trauma. In the event of massive trauma, 999 should be called.
If you experience the following symptoms, evaluation by a doctor is important:
- Clear nasal discharge
- Loss of consciousness
- Any visual disturbance such as double or blurry vision
- Any hearing problem
- Inability to bring teeth together
- Pain with jaw movement
- Altered sensation on the face
- Face uneven (asymmetrical)
- Open wounds with visible bone
Midface (maxillary) fracture
Because they are most often caused in car accidents, fractures of your midface are often associated with other significant, potentially life-threatening injuries. So diagnosing a facial fracture is often not the most important part of your early treatment.
After you are stabilised, a CT scan of the face is the most useful to check for a midface fracture.
Midface (maxillary) fracture treatment
Because of the severity of a midface fracture and its associated injuries, you may require a tube to be inserted to help you breathe, and you will probably be admitted to hospital.
These fractures usually require surgery. This is usually performed by a maxillofacial surgeon.
People with midface fractures have a poorer prognosis because of other injuries suffered from the accident that caused their fracture.
A high incidence of blindness is reported in a particular type of maxillary fracture.
Cheekbone (zygomatic) fracture
If you are evaluated right away, the doctor can usually diagnose these by physical examination. This becomes more difficult with time because of swelling.
Special x-ray views of the zygomatic bone are often helpful. If you have a severe fracture involving other bones of the face, your doctor may also arrange a CT scan to get more information.
Cheekbone (zygomatic) fracture treatment
If your zygomatic arch is fractured, you may require surgery to repair it if the fracture is pushed in causing a cosmetic defect.
In the longer term, this injury may cause some cosmetic issues.