Complications of frontal sinus fractures with emphasis on chronic craniofacial pain and its treatment: A review of 43 cases

L. Anthony Sivori, Reny De Leeuw, Isaac Morgan, Larry L. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: Frontal sinus fractures constitute 5% to 12% of all facial fractures. The optimal management of frontal sinus fractures is controversial but involves preserving the function of the nasofrontal ducts when feasible. We reviewed the postoperative complications of a series of 43 patients treated surgically for frontal sinus fractures. Materials and Methods: The data from 43 patients treated from 2000 to 2006 were reviewed. The information reviewed included patient age and gender, mechanism of injury, type of frontal sinus injury, associated facial injuries, treatment method, and complications. The institutional review board approved the present study. Results: The average patient age was 32.5 years; 36 were men and 7 were women. Of the 43 patients, 23 (53.5%) had had anterior table fractures and 20 (46.5%) had had both anterior and posterior table fractures. Postoperative complications occurred in 7 patients (16.3%). Of these 7 patients, 2 experienced continued headache and pain and required surgical removal of infected hardware, 3 also experienced frequent headaches and pain in the frontal-temporal region, 1 had a post-traumatic deformity, and 1 developed periorbital cellulitis and abscess formation within the frontal sinus. Conclusion: Frequent headaches and complaints of continued pain were the most common complications experienced by our series of patients. We also reviewed treatment strategies for postoperative follow-up and treatment of chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2041-2046
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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