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Chang Gung Med J. 2006 May-Jun;29(3):251-61.

Management of posttraumatic enophthalmos.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei.


Posttraumatic enophthalmos is one of the common sequelae that appears after facial injury and remains a challenge to treat for craniomaxillofacial surgeons. Several theories have been advocated regarding enophthalmos; however, the most well accepted concept is the enlargement of the orbital cavity after displacement due to orbital fractures. Generally, a 1 cm3 increase in orbital volume causes 0.8 mm of enophthalmos. Thorough knowledge of the orbital anatomy is fundamental and critical for the successful surgical correction of enophthalmos because most treatment failures are due to inadequate orbital dissection from fear of injuring the optic nerve and globe. A complete preoperative plan should be built on a comprehensive clinical examination of the periorbital soft tissue and bony components, detailed ophthalmic examination, and high resolution computed tomography scans in the axial, coronal and reformatted sagittal planes. Based on the anatomic deformities, there are two major fracture types including orbital blow out fractures and zygomatico-orbital fractures, resulting in posttraumatic enophthalmos. Treatment modalities and methods of approach are adapted according to the severity of the orbital deformities. Minor complications include ectropion, entropion, dystopia, diplopia, and residual enophthalmos. Rare but severe complications such as intraconal misplacement of the bone graft or retrobulbar hemorrhage with subsequent blindness may be encountered. The success of the procedures depend on adequate dissection and mobilization of the displaced soft tissue, correct repositioning of the dislocated or malunited bony orbit, and proper intra-orbital grafting.

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