Facial trauma: Causes and treatment
Facial trauma is any kind of physical trauma that happens to the face. It is also termed as ‘’maxillofacial trauma’’. If there has been fracture, the symptoms are loss of movement, pain, swelling, bruising and apparent change in the facial structure.
So what are the areas where facial trauma occurs commonly? The nose, the madilla and the lower jaw are the most commonly affected. About 50% to 70% of people who are survivors of traffic accidents get some sort of facial trauma. Developing countries witness the most cases of facial trauma arising due to road and traffic accidents while in developed countries, collision of vehicles is the most important reason for the same bypassing the number of cases that happen due to violence by fellow human beings. Modern cars come equipped with better seats, airbags and high-quality seat belts; all of which has reduced the number of cases of people getting affected by maxillofacial trauma. Bikers who wear helmets are also in a better position to save themselves from any of these injuries in case they are in an accident. The front seat passenger and the driver of a car are the ones who have the highest chance of suffering from facial injuries and fractures.
Causes of facial trauma: A study
Vehicle crashes, sports injuries and falls are the most common reasons of facial trauma in both children and adults. Getting assaulted by blunt objects or surviving fist blows are other causes people get facial trauma. Work-related injuries and animal attacks are other major causes. Though airbags are a wonderful safety feature in cars, they can also be the cause of corneal abrasions and cuts to the face.
Signs and symptoms to look out for
Like in other kind of fractures, facial fracture too may show symptoms like swelling, bruising or pain. If the nose, base of the skull or maxilla is injured or fractured, you can expect quite a lot of bleeding through the nose. The nose may also see some deformity. If in case the teeth does not align properly after an accident or the cheeks seem shrunken, it may indicate a fracture. Asymmetry to the face that was not apparent before may also point out to damaged nerves.
Process of treatment
If a person suffers from facial fractures or any kind of trauma, there are 3 steps to the treatment procedure:
- To restore the functional occlusion.
- To stabilise the supports of the major facial structures, therefore restoring 3 pre-morbid contours of height, projection and width.
- To make sure that the skeletal support is providing proper function and the appearance is okay.
The approach that is presently followed in treating facial fractures is to reposition the fractured segments into their anatomical positions. These kinds of treatment plans are possible because of modern medical technology that is used currently such as CT scanning technology and a better form of X-Rays, for better fragment visualisation and fragment identification.
Injuries to the body require the right care and treatment. But when it comes to facial trauma, the need for proper care and treatment becomes doubly pronounced. The reason for this is that facial fractures don’t only need to be treated internally, but there is also the need of ensuring that the appearance of the patient does not suffer much. Faces are what forms the major part of the identity of people and in case it is not restored to its original appearance, it becomes difficult for patients to recover fully. It is extremely important to choose the right doctors and clinics for patients of maxillofacial trauma.