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J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 1995 Dec;23(6):363-8.

Morbidity of the infraorbital nerve following orbitozygomatic complex fractures.

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West of Scotland Regional Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery Unit, Canniesburn Hospital, Bearsden, Glasgow, UK.


Acute sensory disturbances in the distribution of the infraorbital nerve are recognised signs present in patients with orbitozygomatic complex fractures. Fifty consecutive patients with unilateral orbitozygomatic complex fractures were evaluated with regard to the long-term infraorbital nerve sensory function. The highest incidence of long-term neurosensory deficits occurred in fractures with an undistracted frontozygomatic suture. This is in complete agreement with the distribution of long-term neurosensory deficits regarding the method of treatment for orbitozygomatic complex fractures. In our series slightly more than one-third of the patients had third or fourth degree nerve injuries, according to Sunderland's classification, to the infraorbital nerve following orbitozygomatic complex fractures. This outcome should influence the management of orbitozygomatic complex fractures. With regard to fixation of unstable malar fractures in relation to sensory recovery of the infraorbital nerve, miniplate osteosynthesis is recommended as opposed to wire fixation in all unstable bone fractures when there is displacement. Furthermore, open reduction and fixation of an orbitozygomatic complex fracture offer a better prognosis for complete recovery of the infraorbital nerve function than elevation only with or without Kirschner wire fixation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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