Closed treatment of fractures of the zygomatic complex refers to the management of fractures of the zygomatic complex where, either prior to or following the reduction of the zygoma, the patient does not have a significant orbital defect.
This technique is contraindicated if there is a fracture displacement at the zygomaticofrontal suture.
In rare situations a surgeon may have a simple noncomminuted zygomatic-complex fracture which, with closed manipulation, snaps into a perfect reduction and then appears to be very stable. A surgeon may choose to omit fixation under those special circumstances.
Correct anatomical reduction is required to reproduce the original structure of the zygomaticomaxillary complex and the proper alignment of the orbital walls. In order to achieve proper reduction of the lateral orbital wall, the greater wing of the sphenoid and the zygoma must be properly aligned.
One goal is to restore the proper orbital volume and to restore the proper width, AP projection, and height of the midface. Proper reduction of the zygoma addresses the issues of the AP projection of the width of the midface.
It is possible that the periorbital contents may have been affected by the reduction of the zygomatic-complex fracture. A forced duction test should be performed following the reduction of the zygoma to make sure that the patient does not have entrapment of the soft tissues. Pre- and postoperative ophthalmologic examinations should be considered in all patients who have sustained periorbital trauma.
Unless a surgeon has access to intraoperative imaging, it is nearly impossible to determine that a correct anatomical reduction has been achieved using the closed technique. For this reason we discourage the use of this technique by surgeons with little experience.
Illustration shows reduction of zygomatic-complex fracture using a percutaneous technique and a hook.
In this illustration a percutaneous screw is inserted into the zygomatic bone. This allows fracture reduction using the screw and a holding instrument.
In this illustration a threaded reduction tool (Carroll-Girard screw) is inserted percutaneously into the zygoma and used for reduction.
Evaluation of the patients vision is performed as soon as they are awakened from anesthesia and then at regular intervals until they are discharged from the hospital.
A swinging flashlight test may serve in the unconscious and/or noncooperative patient; alternatively electrophysiological examination has to be performed but is dependent on the appropriate equipment (VEP).
Keeping the patient’s head in an upright position both preoperatively and postoperatively may significantly improve periorbital edema and pain.
To prevent orbital emphysema, nose-blowing should be avoided for at least 10 days following orbital fracture repair.
The use of the following perioperative medication is controversial. There is little evidence to make strong recommendations for postoperative care.
Postoperative examination by an ophthalmologist may be requested. The following signs and symptoms are usually evaluated:
Note: In case of postoperative double vision, ophthalmological assessment has to clarify the cause. Use of prism foils on existing glasses may be helpful as an early aid.
Postoperative imaging has to be performed within the first days after surgery. 3-D imaging (CT, cone beam) is recommended to assess complex fracture reductions. An exception may be made for centers capable of intraoperative imaging.
Especially in fractures involving the alveolar area, orthopantomograms (OPG) are helpful.
Diet depends on the fracture pattern.
Soft diet can be taken as tolerated until there has been adequate healing of the maxillary vestibular incision.
Intranasal feeding may be considered in cases with oral bone exposure and soft-tissue defects.
Patients in MMF will remain on a liquid diet until such time the MMF is released.
Clinical follow-up depends on the complexity of the surgery, and whether the patient has any postoperative problems.
With patients having fracture patterns including periorbital trauma, issues to consider are the following:
Other issues to consider are:
Issues to consider with Le Fort fractures, palatal fractures and alveolar ridge fractures include:
Following orbital fractures, eye movement exercises should be considered.
The duration and/or use of MMF is controversial and highly dependent on the particular patient and complexity of the trauma. In some cases where long-term MMF may be recommended, the surgeon may choose to leave the patient out of MMF immediately postoperatively because of concerns of edema, postoperative sedation, and airway. In these cases the surgeon may choose to place the patient in MMF after these concerns have been resolved.
The need and duration of MMF is very much dependent on:
Patients with arch bars and/or intraoral incisions and/or wounds must be instructed in appropriate oral hygiene procedures. The presence of the arch bars or elastics makes this a more difficult procedure. A soft toothbrush (dipped in warm water to make it softer) should be used to clean the surfaces of the teeth and arch bars. Elastics are removed for oral hygiene procedures. Chlorhexidine oral rinses should be prescribed and used at least 3 times a day to help sanitize the mouth.
For larger debris, a 1:1 mixture of hydrogen peroxide/chlorhexidine can be used. The bubbling action of the hydrogen peroxide helps remove debris. A Waterpik® is a very useful tool to help remove debris from the wires. If a Waterpik is used, care should be taken not to direct the jet stream directly over intraoral incisions as this may lead to wound dehiscence.
Travel in commercial airlines is permitted following orbital fractures. Commercial airlines pressurize their cabins. Mild pain on descent may be noticed. However, flying in military aircraft should be avoided for a minimum of six weeks.
No scuba diving should be permitted for at least six weeks.