Lightning Learning: Facial Fractures

Lightning Learning: Facial Fractures

“Fractures of the facial bones are a common presentation to the ED but can lead to airway problems.”
— advice is based on local guidelines & procedures


Facial trauma is a common presentation to the Emergency Department.

While most patients will have soft tissue injuries, those involved in motor vehicle collisions and assaults have an increased incidence of fractures.

Plain facial radiographs can be intimidating when you first look at them. The 2 views have layers of bone overlapping. Use of McGrigor-Campbell lines and Dolan lines aids interpretation.


Fractures of the facial bones can lead to airway problems. Le Fort classification is used to describe injuries to the mid-face:

Type I (floating palate)

  • Maxillary fracture separating body from nasal septum

Type II (floating maxilla)

  • Pyramidal fracture through maxilla involving the hard palate

Type III (floating face)

  • Craniofacial dysjunction

Beware! It is possible to have a different 'type' for each side of the face.


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Lightning Learning: Tonsillitis

Lightning Learning: Tonsillitis