A fracture is a broken bone and a facial fracture refers to any injury that results in a broken bone or bones of the face. The most common cause of facial fractures and serious cosmetic injuries to the face is motor vehicle accidents. In a Houston car accident, injuries to the face are often caused by the steering wheel, dashboard, airbag, windshield, side window, car seats or shattered glass. These facial injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises; to a broken nose or broken jaw; to serious laceration and fractures; partial or total vision loss, severe burns and nerve damage; and broken teeth or other serious dental injuries.
Symptoms of Facial Fractures
- Facial Bone Fractures: People who have suffered a facial bone fracture may experience tenderness at the injury site as well as swelling and bruising. When a person’s nose is fractured, he or she may also have a deformity to the shape of their nose as well as a nosebleed. Serious fractures of the middle part of the nasal bone may also fracture the bones on the inside of the nose. When this happens, the person’s brain may be exposed to the outside environment. People who have this occur may have ongoing nosebleeds or a nasal discharge that is clear.
- Fractured Jaw: The symptoms of a fractured jaw may include pain, swelling, bruising to the underside of the tongue and problems with being able to bring the teeth together. When a person has a fracture located in the middle part of the face, they may also have trouble with bringing their teeth together, have clear nasal discharges, visual difficulties, bruising and the ability to move the bones in the area. Cheek fractures may show such symptoms as a flattened or depressed area in the cheek, difficulties with vision, problems with moving the jaw, a change in the feeling in the affected cheek and the presence of blood in the side of the eye.
- Orbital Fractures: People who have orbital (eye socket) fractures may have eyes that appear sunken. They may also complain of having double vision and have a changed sensation around the affected eye. When the temporomandibular joint is dislocated, the person may not be able to close their mouth and may have a jaw that is out of line. The joint is located in front of the ear where the temporal bone and the jaw are connected.
- Cheekbone (zygomatic) fractures: Symptoms include flatness of the cheek, an altered sensation underneath the eye on the affected side, visual complaints, pain with jaw movement and/or blood in the side of the eye on the affected side.
Treatment of Houston Facial Fractures
Any time a facial fracture is suspected, people should seek immediate medical attention, especially if they also have losses of consciousness, clear nasal discharges, visual disturbances, and other serious symptoms. The treatment that will be needed will depend on the type of fracture and the extent of the injury. For nose fractures, doctors will first try to stave off any bleeding. They will wait to put the nose back into its place until any swelling has subsided. If the bones inside of the nose are fractured, the person will need to be admitted to the hospital. Fractured jaws in which a portion of the bone protrudes out through the skin will need hospitalization as well as intravenously administered antibiotics. For both closed and open fractures, oral surgery may also be required. Fractures to the midface region will likely require hospitalization as well as intubation to help people breathe. Cheekbone fractures, along with other facial fractures, may need cosmetic surgery in order to correct any disfigurement that results from them. Eye socket fractures may need surgery to repair the fractured socket.
Facial Fracture Prognosis and Complications
A jaw fracture can often times have a good prognosis. Midface fractures may be more serious, and in some cases, people who suffer from them will become blind. Cheekbone fractures may result in facial disfigurement.
Contact a Houston Facial Fracture Attorney
When a car collision or other accident causes a concussion, an experienced Houston auto wreck attorney can assist you with determining if any third party is responsible for your damages and filing a lawsuit if necessary under Texas law. The attorneys at the Stewart Guss law firm have experience with facial fractures concussion and other serious injuries caused by auto collisions and they are prepared to represent you to make sure that you are compensated for your injuries and other losses. Call our office at 800-898-4877 today.