What is an eye socket (orbital) fracture?
The orbit is the bony structure around the eye. An eye socket fracture, or orbital fracture, occurs when one or more bones surrounding the eye are broken.
- An orbital fracture usually occurs after some type of injury or a strike to the face. Depending on where the fracture is located, it can be associated with severe eye injury and eye damage.
- Some fractures don’t have to be treated immediately. Depending on the injury, we may recommend taking some time to allow for swelling and bruising to go away before treating the fracture.
- Surgery may be required for severe fractures, or if there is involvement of the eye.
Eye Socket Fracture | Symptoms & Causes
What are the symptoms of an orbital fracture?
Each child may experience symptoms differently, but the most common symptoms of an orbital fracture are:
- swelling of the eyelid
- bruising around the eye
- pain in the eye
- double vision
- decreased movement of the affected eye
Eye Socket Fracture | Diagnosis & Treatments
How is an orbital fracture diagnosed?
Diagnosis is usually made after a complete medical history and physical examination of your child. In addition, your child's physician may also order the following tests to help confirm the diagnosis:
- x-ray: a diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones and organs onto film
- computerized tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan): a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images of the body
How is an orbital fracture treated?
Your child's treatment may include:
- A consultation with an ophthalmologist, a physician who specializes in comprehensive eye care, may be necessary for a complete evaluation of your child's eye.
- Some fractures don't have to be treated immediately. Depending on the injury, time may be allowed for the swelling and bruising to go away before the fracture is treated.
- Double vision will usually resolve without treatment in three to four days.
- Surgery may be required for severe fractures, or if there is involvement of the eye. Surgery may be performed immediately, or up to several days after the trauma.