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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Aug;124(2):602-11. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181addbbd.

A consecutive case review of orbital blowout fractures and recommendations for comprehensive management.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Nagasaki, Japan.



The orbital blowout fracture is a common facial injury, but full consensus has not been reached regarding its optimal management. The authors retrospectively explored consecutive cases of blowout fractures and proposed new recommendations for treatment.


Two hundred eight newly registered patients were selected from the database of Nagasaki University Hospital over the past 5 years. One hundred nine patients in the authors' department were then reviewed regarding computed tomographic classification of fracture types, preoperative complaints, and outcomes.


Of the 208 patients reviewed, 43 underwent surgical repair: 37 for diplopia and 14 for enophthalmos, including eight patients who were treated for both conditions. Regarding floor fractures, the punched-out type fracture was the most common, but the burst type was associated with the highest likelihood of undergoing surgery. For medial wall fractures, the punched-out type dominated, but the overall operative incidence was lower than that observed for the floor fractures. For diplopia, more than half of the operations were performed within 2 weeks, but only two cases were performed within 3 days. For enophthalmos, over 60 percent of operations were carried out after 1 month. Two cases, later discovered to involve muscle strangulation, continued to demonstrate residual diplopia in ordinary use, and two patients continued to show enophthalmos. However, overall outcomes were considered satisfactory.


If computed tomographic findings disclose a linear fracture with muscular strangulation, urgent surgery must be performed. However, for linear fractures without impaction of the muscle, or punched-out or burst type fractures, close observation for days may be appropriate. In addition, surgical intervention can be performed electively when diplopia persists for several days of observation.

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