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Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2003 Sep;19(5):359-63.

Orbital roof fractures: management of ophthalmic complications.

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  • 1Eyelid, Lacrimal and Orbital Clinic, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston, Queensland, Australia.



To review the clinical features and management of patients with orbital roof fractures.


Non-comparative, retrospective case review of 21 patients presenting with orbital roof fractures.


The orbital roof fractures in our series resulted from motor vehicle accidents, blunt trauma, head injuries, and penetrating orbital injuries. Associated orbital and ocular injuries included other ipsilateral orbital fractures (16 cases), traumatic optic neuropathy (3 cases), ptosis (2 cases), perforating eye injuries (2 cases), intraorbital foreign bodies (2 cases), and oculomotor nerve palsy (1 case). Six patients required surgical intervention for ophthalmic sequelae, which included motility problems (4 cases), lagophthalmos (1 case), and a retained intraorbital foreign body with a cerebrospinal fluid leak (one case). The outcome of surgery was favorable in all cases, with complete resolution of symptoms in five of six patients.


Orbital and ocular injuries are common in association with orbital roof fractures. A multidisciplinary approach to management is required because facial and cerebral injuries are also common. Most patients can be managed conservatively. The specific ophthalmic indications for surgical intervention are limited, but the outcome in these cases is gratifying.

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