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Alternative NamesMaxillofacial injury; Midface trauma; Facial injury; LeFort injuries
Definition Return to top
Facial trauma is any injury of the face and upper jaw bone.
Causes Return to top
Blunt or penetrating trauma can cause injury to the midface region, which includes the upper jaw (maxilla). Common causes of facial injury include:
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
The doctor will perform a physical exam, which may show:
The following may suggest bone fractures:
A CT scan of the head may be done.
Treatment Return to top
Surgery is needed if the person cannot function normally or if there is significant deformity.
The goal of treatment is to:
Treatment should be immediate, as long as the person is stable and there are no neck fractures or life-threatening injuries.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Patients generally do very well with proper treatment. The patient should gently be told that they will probably look different than they did before their injury, and that additional surgeries may be needed 6-12 months later.
Possible Complications Return to top
General complications include, but are not limited to:
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if you have a severe injury to your face.
Prevention Return to top
Wear seat belts and use protective head gear when appropriate. Avoid triggering potentially violent confrontations with other people.Update Date: 7/15/2008 Updated by: Alan Lipkin, MD, Otolargyngologist, private practice, Denver, CO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.