Facial fractures are broken bones in the face. Many situations can cause facial fractures. Motor vehicle crashes, sporting injuries, falls and assault account for the majority, although injuries from gunshot wounds and stabbings occur as well. Of note, the nose is the most-commonly fractured bone in the human body.
Facial fractures can involve bones of the forehead, brow, upper jaw, lower jaw, cheeks and nose or eye sockets. A closed fracture is one in which the skin is not broken. An open or compound fracture involves laceration of the skin. Most facial fractures heal rapidly with very few complications.
A doctor should check any significant facial injury. You can either see your doctor or go to the emergency department. If available, put some ice on the area and take some acetaminophen to help with the pain.
If you experience the following symptoms, evaluation by a doctor is mandatory:
- Clear nasal discharge
- Loss of consciousness
- Any visual disturbance such as double or blurry vision
- Any hearing problem
- Inability to bring teeth together
- Pain with jaw movement
- Altered sensation on the face
- Face uneven (asymmetrical)
- Open wounds with visible bone