Facial trauma

Also called maxillofacial trauma, is any physical trauma to the face.

Facial trauma can involve soft tissue injuries such as burns, lacerations and bruises or fractures of the facial bones such as nasal fractures and fractures of the jaw, as well as trauma such as eye injuries.

Symptoms are specific to the type of injury; for example, fractures may involve pain, swelling, loss of function, or changes in the shape of facial structures. Facial injuries have the potential to cause disfigurement and loss of function for example, blindness or di‑culty moving the jaw can result. Although it is seldom life-threatening, facial trauma can also be deadly because it can cause severe bleeding or interference with the airway thus a primary concern in treatment is ensuring that the airway is open and not threatened so that the patient can breathe.

Depending on the type of facial injury, treatment may include bandaging and suturing of open wounds, administration of ice, antibiotics and pain killers, moving bones back into place, and surgery.

When fractures are suspected radiography is used for diagnosis. Treatment may also be necessary for other injuries such as traumatic brain injury, which commonly accompany severe facial trauma.