Depending on the type of injury, complex and staged reconstruction may be required. Facial bone fractures including the jaw are usually fixed through concealed incisions inside the eyelid and the mouth. Titanium mini plates are used along with screws to stabilize the fracture.

What to Expect

Depending on the extent of injury, surgery can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Facial bone fractures are repaired under general anesthesia. A tetanus shot boost may be necessary. Antibiotics are given, especially with dog bites and contaminated wounds. Depending on the type of fracture, repair is usually performed within a day or two or may be postponed for a week to allow the swelling to subside. In certain fractures, such as nasal bone fractures, surgery involves reducing the fracture segments from the outside without incisions or plate fixation.

When facial lacerations are repaired, sutures are removed in seven days. Bruising and swelling is common, especially with facial fractures. Swelling around the eyes usually resolves within one to two weeks. Swelling in the lower cheek persists longer after repairing cheek or upper jaw fractures, and is associated with muscle stiffness and smile asymmetry that resolves gradually with time.