An injury to the protective facial bones can have a devastating impact on not only your outward appearance but the sensitive organs that they protect. At Sevey, Donahue & Talcott, LLP, we are committed to helping people in Sacramento and Roseville who have suffered injuries like facial fractures get the compensation they need to pay for costly medical bills, reconstructive surgeries, and other expenses.
Because we want our clients and others to understand the impact of these injuries and what can be expected during diagnosis and treatment, we have provided the following helpful information. This article addresses facial fractures and what can be expected if you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligent actions.
Facial fractures are the cracking or breaking of bones that comprise the craniofacial area of the skull. These fractures often occur as a result of car accidents, slips, trips, and falls, workplace accidents, and sports injuries.
It is important to check for facial fractures if an injury involving the head or the cervical (upper) spine occur. The physician must consider the type of injury during examination as various amounts of force are needed to fracture various areas of the face. Fractures of the orbital (eye) area, the nasal (nose) area, and the mandibular (jaw) are the areas where fractures most commonly occur.
If you believe you have suffered a facial fracture, your doctor will often first make sure your cervical spine is intact. The spine is often immobilized as a precaution during a facial examination. Once the spine has been secured, your physician may ask the following questions:
After this battery of questions, the doctor may order imaging of the area to determine the extent of the damage. A CT scan (computed tomography) may be ordered since it is more accurate at distinguishing fractures of the curved facial area than an X-Ray.
For frontal fractures, any posterior wall fractures may require immediate neurosurgical evaluation; the surgeon will determine the next steps which may include antibiotics. In the event of an orbital fracture, treatment may include elevation of the head and the application of ice. Pain medication may also be prescribed, or over-the-counter medicine might be taken to alleviate pain and inflammation.
If the sinuses are damaged, antibiotics may be required. If the fracture is severe, a specialist such as an oral surgeon or plastic surgeon may be needed.
For nasal fractures, pressure applied by the physician with his thumbs coupled with the insertion of probes which prop up and restore the nasal cavity to its original position. If there is a maxillary fracture, open reduction combined with internal fixation is often the course of action chosen by your doctor. This involves the placement of screws or pins into the bone to restore its natural integrity.
Mandibular fractures are treated much like maxillary fractures and antibiotics often accompany any surgery.
Follow-up after the surgery is necessary and is an important part of healing. Studies show that healing begins after a facial fracture with five (5) days and remodeling of the fracture occurs some fifty (50) days after surgery or treatment. With fractures involving the orbital area, improvement in vision is the most critical factor in a return to a normal life and any loss of clarity needs immediate attention from your healthcare provider.
As with any injury, you may be entitled to compensation depending on the circumstances and nature of your case. The following may be recoverable after the disposition if your case:
Although facial fractures typically aren’t life-threatening on their own, they can cause complications like obstructed airways in the event of maxillary, nasal and mandible bone fractures, putting innocent lives at risk.
Additionally, fractures can cause disfigurement and permanent disability that may result in lifelong physical and emotional trauma. If this happens, you have the right to take legal action to hold the party accountable for your accident responsible. To learn more about how our Roseville and Sacramento facial fracture lawyers can help protect your rights and safeguard your future, contact the law offices of Sevey, Donahue & Talcott, L.L.P. today by calling (916) 788-7100 and schedule a free consultation.