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Eplasty. 2013 Jun 20;13:e33. Print 2013.

Eyebrow ptosis after blowout fracture indicates impairment of trigeminal proprioceptive evocation that induces reflex contraction of the frontalis muscle.

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  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The mixed levator and frontalis muscles lack the interior muscle spindles normally required to induce involuntary contraction of their slow-twitch fibers. To involuntarily move the eyelid and eyebrow, voluntary contraction of the levator nonskeletal fast-twitch muscle fibers stretches the mechanoreceptors in Müller's muscle to evoke trigeminal proprioception, which then induces reflex contraction of the levator and frontalis skeletal slow-twitch muscle fibers. The trigeminal proprioceptive nerve has a long intraorbital course from the mechanoreceptors in Müller's muscle to the superior orbital fissure. Since external force to the globe may cause impairment of trigeminal proprioceptive evocation, we confirmed how unilateral blowout fracture due to a hydraulic mechanism affects ipsilateral eyebrow movement as compared with unilateral zygomatic fracture.

METHODS:

In 16 unilateral blowout fracture patients, eyebrow heights were measured on noninjured and injured sides in primary and 60° upward gaze and statistically compared. Eyebrow heights were also measured in primary gaze in 24 unilateral zygomatic fracture patients and statistically compared.

RESULTS:

In the blowout fracture patients, eyebrow heights on the injured side were significantly smaller than on the noninjured side in both gaze. In the zygomatic fracture patients, eyebrow heights on the injured side were significantly larger than on the noninjured side in primary gaze.

CONCLUSION:

Since 60° upward gaze did not recover the eyebrow ptosis observed in primary gaze in blowout fracture patients, such ptosis indicated impairment of trigeminal proprioceptive evocation and the presence of a hydraulic mechanism that may require ophthalmic examination.

PMID:
23814636
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3692244
Free PMC Article

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