Maxillofacial trauma.

E. A. Luce, H. C. Vasconez, A. B. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


If a multiply injured patient with severe head injuries, intra-abdominal and intrathoracic injuries is admitted, the diagnosis and management of the facial fractures may be shunted into the background. With the tremendous methods of modern medicine at hand, we are adequately able to resuscitate, treat, and discharge those patients. If the maxillofacial injuries go undiagnosed or untreated, the patient is left with some fairly significant sequelae in function and appearance that are difficult to treat on a delayed basis. Initial management of those injuries can be done concomitantly with management of the other serious life-threatening injuries and a successful outcome achieved. The traditional approach of waiting "until all the swelling goes down" before definitive correction of bony or soft tissue problems are addressed, has been shown to produce inadequate and disabling results both from a structural and functional viewpoint. Following the first or at most second week after injury, the process of bone healing and scar formation have usually progressed quite quickly. This is especially true in children who normally have a very high metabolic rate. A displaced facial fracture not corrected during the initial "golden" period will require major manipulation and even refracture in order to adequately reduce the segments into the proper position and a less satisfactory result than acute management. Similar considerations with respect to the skin and soft tissues are also important. Once scar tissue has formed it becomes very difficult to restore normal or near-normal appearance.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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