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Facial Fracture (cont.)

Facial Fracture Symptoms

Although certain symptoms are specific for the bone fractured, some symptoms are common to any fractured bone. Remember that these symptoms may indicate a soft tissue injury (without a broken bone).

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

Broken nose symptoms 

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Deformity
  • Nosebleed (if present, is usually minor)
  • Significant trauma to the bridge of the nose may result in a fracture of the bones inside the nose (ethmoid bones).
  • These bones, if fractured, may cause the brain to connect with the outside environment.
  • Possible symptoms include persistent nosebleed or a clear nasal discharge.

Broken jaw symptoms

  • Jaw pain
  • Tenderness
  • Inability to bring the teeth together properly (malocclusion)
  • Bruising under the tongue almost always indicates a jaw fracture.

Midface (maxillary) fracture symptoms (if the patient is conscious)

  • Inability to bring the teeth together properly
  • Visual problems
  • Clear nasal discharge
  • Bruising may be present around the eyes and the midface may be able to be moved.
  • These fractures are not usually subtle and are often the result of high-speed car accidents. As a result, there might be severe injury to areas other than the face.
  • Many of these people will have difficulty breathing and require a tube to be placed down their throat to help them breathe.

Cheekbone (zygomatic) fracture symptoms

  • Flatness of the cheek
  • Altered sensation underneath the eye on the affected side
  • Visual complaints
  • Pain with jaw movement
  • Blood in the side of the eye on the affected side sometimes is present.

Eye socket (orbital) fracture symptoms

  • Sunken eye (enophthalmos)
  • Altered sensation beneath the affected eye
  • Double vision, particularly with upward gaze
  • This fracture involves the bones of the eye socket.
  • Injury usually occurs when a blunt object hits the eye such as a fist or a ball.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dislocation symptoms

  • Jaw deviation
  • Inability to close the mouth
  • Dislocation of the TMJ (the joint where your jaw meets with the temporal bone, in front of the ear) can occur with blunt trauma, seizures, or excessive mouth opening.
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