Demographics and treatment options for orbital roof fractures

Richard H. Haug, Joseph E. Van Sickels, William S. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objective. The purpose of this article was to review the frequency, germane anatomy, management modalities, and complications associated with the treatment of orbital roof fractures in the pediatric and the adult population. Study design. A review of the past 30 years of the English-language maxillofacial surgical literature was undertaken. Important concepts were coupled with the authors' experience to provide a synopsis of contemporary thought on this topic. Results. More than 235 articles in the oral and maxillofacial, plastic and reconstructive, otolaryngology-head and neck, ophthalmologic, oculoplastic, neurologic, and pediatric surgical literature were reviewed and assessed. From this group, 50 articles were found to contain useful information. Conclusions. It has been estimated that 1% to 9% of all facial fractures involve the orbital roof. The typical adult with an orbital roof fracture is a man (89%-93%) who has been involved in a high-energy impact and who has sustained concomitant multisystem injuries (57%-77%). Orbital roof fractures most commonly coexist with other craniofacial injuries. In contrast, in pediatric patients with an orbital roof injury, we see nearly equal sex distribution; the typical patient in this case has a fronto-basal fracture that is minimally displaced or nondisplaced (53%-93%) and has sustained concomitant multisystem injuries. The pediatric patient is usually managed by means of observation alone (53%-86%). For the adult patient, a subcranial approach to the orbital roof by means of a bitemporal flap or superior blepharoplasty incision offers wide access with minimal morbidity. Currently available titanium microscrew and miniscrew and mesh systems offer a near-ideal modality for orbital roof reconstruction. The coexisting neurocranial, frontal sinus, and supraorbital rim fractures take priority over the management of orbital roof fractures. Complications associated with orbital roof injuries can be categorized as those attributed to the following: concomitant injury, surgical access, postreconstruction volume discrepancy, muscle entrapment, hemorrhage, and/or infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-246
Number of pages9
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • General Dentistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Demographics and treatment options for orbital roof fractures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this