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Orbital Fracture Surgery

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Orbital Fracture

An orbital fracture is when there is a break in one of the bones surrounding the eyeball (called the orbit, or eye socket). Usually this kind of injury is caused by blunt force trauma, when something hits the eye very hard.

Orbital Fracture Types

Any of the bones surrounding the eye can be fractured, or broken. Here are types of orbital fractures:

Symptoms

Symptoms of an orbital fracture will depend on what kind of fracture it is and how severe the injury is. Symptoms can include:

Diagnosis and Treatment

To check for an orbital fracture, an ophthalmologist will examine the eye and the area around it. They will take pictures of the eye and the eye socket, including x-rays and CT scans.

The ophthalmologist will check to see if the eye moves as it should, and if there are any vision problems. They might also measure the eye to see if it is positioned properly in the eye socket.

How Are Orbital Fractures Treated?

In many cases, orbital fractures do not need to be treated with surgery. If an orbital fracture is small, your ophthalmologist may recommend placing ice packs on the area to reduce swelling and allow the eye socket to heal on its own over time. Sometimes antibiotics and decongestants are prescribed as well. People with an orbital fracture should avoid blowing their nose for a while as they heal.

An orbital fracture is more severe when it keeps the eye from moving properly, causes double vision or has repositioned the eyeball in its socket. In this case, the ophthalmologist may refer the patient to an oculoplastic surgeon (a specially trained ophthalmologist) for surgery.

In many situations, the oculoplastic surgeon will choose to wait for a period of time to see how the healing process goes before doing surgery. Waiting until swelling goes down before surgery often leads to better outcomes. If the orbital fracture symptoms go away, it may be possible to avoid having surgery and any possible related complications.

 


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