Lightning Learning: Facial Fractures
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)
Beware! It is possible to have a different 'type' for each side of the face.