Car Accident Facial Fracture Lawyers in Georgia
According to the Cleveland Clinic, when someone breaks a facial bone, they could suffer minor issues or severe complications. This is because facial bones affect speaking, eating, and breathing. People who have sustained a facial fracture might require surgery to repair the fracture. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered a facial fracture, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
What Are Facial Fractures?
Facial fractures are broken bones in the face. The human face is a complex bone system. The face consists of the following bones:
- Frontal bone (the forehead)
- Mandible (the lower jaw)
- Maxillary bones (the upper jaw)
- Nasal bones
- Orbital bones (the eye sockets)
- Zygomas (the cheekbones)
Several other facial bones are located deeper inside the facial structure. Muscles required for talking, chewing, and swallowing attach to these inner facial bones.
The most common facial fracture is the broken nose. Multiple facial fractures often occur during car accidents or other high-impact collisions. Facial fractures may be unilateral (appearing on one side) or bilateral (appearing on both sides of the face).
Are Facial Fractures Dangerous?
If you or a loved one sustain a facial injury, seek immediate medical attention. Although some facial fractures are minor, complex fractures can be life-threatening.
There are important nerves and muscles that are responsible for creating facial expressions, sensations, and eye movement. The face is also close to the central nervous system (CNS) and the brain. Facial fractures can also damage essential cranial nerves leading to vision loss and breathing issues.
Types of Facial Fractures
There are several types of facial fractures, including:
Frontal bone fractures (forehead): The frontal bone is the prominent bone that makes up the forehead. An impact to the forehead can lead to a fracture of the floor of the sinuses and the frontal bone. Associated issues include eye injuries, sinus duct damage, and cerebrospinal fluid leakage.
Nasal bones fractures (broken nose): Nasal bone fractures are the most common type of facial fracture. Two thin bones make up the nose. A nose that appears deformed or is sore to the touch might be a nasal fracture. Swelling in the area makes it difficult for doctors to assess how much damage to the nasal bones has transpired. Bruising and nosebleeds around the nose are typical symptoms of nasal fractures.
Orbital fractures (eye socket): There are three primary kinds of orbital fractures.
- Orbital rim fracture: The outer rim is the densest portion of the eye socket. An orbital rim fracture can cause damage to the optic nerve.
- Blowout fractures: Blowout fractures are fractures in which the orbital rim remains unbroken, but a fracture forms in the lower part of the eye socket. Eye muscles and bone can entrap the eye and stop the eyeball from moving.
- Direct orbital floor fracture: These rim fractures extend into the lower socket.
Mid-face fractures (Le Fort): These fractures are located along the mid-face. There are three types of Le Fort fractures, including:
- Le Fort I: This fracture extends across the upper jaw (maxilla)
- Le Fort II: This fracture extends from one cheek's lower portion, across the nose's bridge, and to the other cheek's lower area
- Le Fort III: This fracture covers the bridge of the nose and the bones encircling the eyes
Mandible (lower jaw): The mandible or jaw bone contains the lower teeth and moves when chewing or talking. Accident victims with a jaw fracture may also have loose, missing, or broken teeth.
Zygomaticomaxillary fractures (broken cheekbone and upper jaw area): The zygomas (cheekbones) are connected at several points of the skull and to the upper jaw (maxilla). Zygomaticomaxillary fractures might involve other facial bone fractures.
What Causes Facial Bone Fractures?
Facial bones are fractured in several different ways, including:
- Domestic violence
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Workplace accidents
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Facial Fracture?
Facial fracture symptoms include pain, swelling, discoloration of the skin, tenderness, or bruising.
Signs of a nose fracture could include:
- Purplish skin coloration, bruising, or ecchymosis
- Black eyes from bruising
- Deviated septum, or a blockage of one or both nostrils.
- Twisted nose
- Indented bridge.
Signs and Symptoms of an Orbital Fracture could include:
- Blurry vision
- Bulging eyeballs
- Decreased vision
- Difficulty in moving eyes
- Double vision
- Flatness of the cheeks.
- Swollen cheek
- Swelling under the eyes
- Sunken eyeballs.
- Facial numbness
- Blood or discoloration in the white area of the eyeball
Symptoms of upper or lower jaw fractures:
- Difficulty with eating, chewing or speaking
- Broken, missing, or loose teeth
- Teeth do not close properly
- Pain in the cheek area when opening the mouth
Diagnosing Facial Fractures
A physician will examine the patient for blocked airways, look for central nervous system damage signs, and assess pupil size and reactions. The physician will ask questions concerning when and how the facial injury occurred. The parent, patient, or caregiver must provide information about past medical problems and past facial injuries or surgery. The doctor will then examine the face for signs of asymmetry and damage to motor functions. The doctor will examine the facial bones and will palpate (gently press) on them.
The doctor will likely order a series of X-rays to confirm a facial fracture.
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