Font Size

Facial Fracture

Facts on Facial Fracture

A fracture is a broken bone. Facial fracture refers to any injury that results in a bone or bones of the face being broken.

Facial Fracture Causes

Many situations can cause facial fractures. Motor vehicle crashes, sporting injuries, falls, and assaults account for the majority, although injuries from gunshot wounds and stabbings occur as well.

Always be concerned about other injuries with facial fractures. In particular, other parts of the body may be injured, for example, if a person has facial injuries in a motor vehicle accident, there may be other injuries.

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 

  • 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.
Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Facial Fracture

CT Scan (CAT Scan, Computerized Axial Tomography)
CT Scan What is a CT scan? Computerized tomography scans (CT scans) are important diagnostic tools for a variety of medical conditions. Some areas of the body frequentl...learn more >>
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a scanner that takes cross-sectional images of the body. It is used to evaluate tissues of the head, neck, chest, limbs, abd...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Facial Fracture:

Facial Fracture - Causes

What caused your facial fracture?

Facial Fracture - Treatment

Tell us about your treatment regimen for your facial fracture.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Fracture, Face »

In approximately 400 BC, Hippocrates provided the first description of a variety of facial injuries.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary