Treatment & Care
How are facial fractures treated?
Your child's physician will discuss specific treatments options with you, but it's generally pretty straightforward.
A two-step process
The usual treatment for facial fractures involves two steps, reduction or "setting of the bone" and fixation.
- Reduction involves restoring broken pieces to their proper position. In many cases of facial fracture, reduction can be accomplished several days after the injury, once the swelling has subsided.
- Fixation is the process of holding the broken pieces together until they have rejoined and the fracture has healed. Most often, this means immobilizing the broken parts.
Jaw fracture fixation
Many children's jaw fractures only require your child to stick to a soft diet for a period of time. Sometimes jaw fractures require intermaxillary fixation (IMF), which basically means temporary locking of the upper and lower jaws together by wire or rubber bands.
While the jaws are wired shut, only liquid nourishment is possible. The length of time the IMF is in place varies with the extent and severity of the fracture the usual length of time is three to six weeks.
Nasal fracture fixation
Nasal fracture fixation is usually accomplished by external splinting and occasionally by packing the inside of your child's nose with soft material. A blowout fracture may require careful exploration and restoration of your child's orbital floor.
What's my child's long-term outlook?
Generally, children's broken bones heal rapidly with few complications.