Oculofacial Plastics Practice of Dr. Kimberly Cockerham
Orbital Reconstruction Post Trauma

Orbital Reconstruction Post Trauma

The orbit is a bony housing in the skull about 2 inches deep that provides protection to the entire eyeball except the front surface. There are a number of bones that create the orbit. Any one of these may be fractured as the result of trauma. The types of trauma that typically cause injury to the orbit include car accidents, falls, sports injuries and blows by hard objects.

If you have experienced orbital trauma you may suffer from such symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Nose bleeds
  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Sunken appearance of eyeball
  • Facial numbness

An orbital fracture is diagnosed with imaging, usually a CT scan. Fortunately, not all fractures need to be surgically fixed. Most will heal on their own over time. However, if the fracture is unstable, you have persistent double vision or it results in a deformity surgery will likely be necessary.

Surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Various skin incisions are made depending on the location of the fracture. In most cases a metal plate or mesh substance placed in the defect. This stabilizes the fractured bone and repairs the anatomy of the orbit.

Recovery from reconstruction of the orbit depends on the particular surgery and the health of the patient. You may be required to spend the night in the hospital. You may also have a patch over your eye. After you remove the eye patch you will be instructed to ice the eye in order to decrease swelling and bruising. You will also be given eye drops or ointment to place into the eye. Complete recovery usually requires several weeks.

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