Background: With little in the published literature on the conservative management of facial fractures we set out to determine whether our current criteria for treatment are valid. Method: Two hundred and thirty adult patients with fractures of the facial skeleton were treated conservatively by our unit between February 1997 and January 2003. Their notes were reviewed retrospectively. Results: Most patients were males (76%), the average age was 38 years, and drugs or alcohol were a significant aspect of the history in 30% of the cases. The most common mechanism of injury was assault (47%), followed by falls and sporting injuries. Fifty percent of the fractures involved the orbital or orbito-zygomatic complex, and 55% had associated injuries. Average follow-up was for six weeks (range 0-44 weeks). Most patients were managed conservatively based on our current criteria of un-displaced/minimally displaced fracture (57%); or minimal/no symptoms (24%). At final review, a number had residual symptoms, but only three required corrective surgery. The other reasons for conservative management included patient non-compliance (11%), and medical contraindications (8%). Conclusion: Our results support current indications for the conservative management of facial fractures, but emphasise the need for ongoing follow-up of these patients.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2007|
- Conservative management
- Facial fractures