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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2004 Mar;113(3):834-8.

Infraorbital nerve injury associated with zygoma fractures: documentation with neurosensory testing.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


Persistent sensibility abnormalities after correction of zygoma fractures indicate injury to the infraorbital nerve and may produce pain. To investigate this, a retrospective study of 25 patients who had undergone surgical correction of a zygoma fracture was performed. Bilateral neurosensory measurements were obtained with the Pressure-Specified Sensory Device (Sensory Management Services, Baltimore, Md.). Seven of the 25 patients had required orbital floor reconstruction. Each patient had undergone fracture correction at least 6 months earlier and was interviewed, at the time of sensibility testing, regarding symptoms related to the fracture. The data were evaluated by a blinded examiner, from a separate clinical facility, who attempted to predict the side of the fracture and the degree of zygoma displacement on the basis of measurements of sensibility of the paranasal, upper lip, and zygomaticotemporal areas. Seventy-six percent of patients demonstrated abnormal sensibility on the side of the zygoma fracture, compared with the contralateral side. Sensibility was abnormal for 100 percent of the patients who required orbital floor reconstruction. Seventy-four percent of patients with abnormal sensibility reported symptoms related to the fracture. Eighty percent of the zygoma fractures were correctly identified, with respect to the side of the fracture, by the blinded examiner on the basis of the neurosensory measurements alone (p < 0.005). Predictions proved correct for 91 percent of the patients with widely displaced fractures and none of the patients with nondisplaced fractures. The results of this study suggest that neurosensory testing is an important clinical adjunct for the evaluation of patients with facial pain or dysesthesia after facial fracture reconstruction. The results suggest the need to develop algorithms for the diagnosis and treatment of trigeminal nerve injuries after craniofacial trauma. This approach could also be applicable to dysesthesia or pain after aesthetic facial surgical procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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