Naso-Orbital-Ethmoid Fracture Repair Techniques: A Systematic Review

Preston Leader, Thomas J. Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: Naso-orbital-ethmoid (NOE) complex fractures present a challenge to repair. The classification system used to categorize the fracture type was established in 1991 based off the medial canthal tendon attachment. The primary objective was to systematically review the literature outlining repair techniques for NOE fracture after the adoption of the Markowitz classification system. Methods: A systematic search was performed in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science to identify peer-reviewed research. Eligible studies were peer-reviewed articles reporting on operative techniques used to repair NOE fractures in adult patients after 1991. Two investigators independently reviewed all articles and extracted data. Level of evidence was assessed by Oxford Center for Evidence-based Medicine guidelines. Results: This review identified 16 articles that met inclusion/exclusion criteria representing 517 patients. One article outlined a closed reduction technique with transnasal wiring. The remaining articles discussed open approaches with various exposure techniques, most common being the coronal incision. Miniplates and screws were most often implemented for rigid fixation as well as transnasal wiring to repair disrupted medial canthal tendon and canthal bearing bone in Type 2 and 3 NOE fractures. Ten of the studies included in this review had a level of evidence of 4. Conclusions: NOE fractures present a complex fracture pattern and challenge to repair. New exposure techniques and multidisciplinary approaches have been described. However, fixation techniques have remained relatively consistent through the years. Surgeon preference and comfort with performing the specific techniques leads to the best patient outcomes. With the low level of evidence referenced, more robust research is needed to evaluate these techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-467
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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