The Importance of the Zygomatic Arch in Complex Midfacial Fracture Repair and Correction of Posttraumatic Orbitozygomatic Deformities

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Abstract

Collapse of the zygomatic arch following trauma results in inadequate anteroposterior projection of the zygomatic body and an increase in facial width. Accurate assessment of the position of the zygomatic arch in relation to the cranial base posteriorly and the midface anteriorly is the key to the acute repair of complex midfacial fractures and the secondary reconstruction of posttraumatic deformities of the orbitozygomaticomaxillary complex. Loss of projection of the zygomatic arch may occur with injuries confined to the orbitozygomaticomaxillary region or in association with complex midfacial fractures. A safe anatomic approach to the zygomatic arch allows exact anatomic restoration of the zygomatic arch using miniplates and screws and results in the reconstruction of an outer facial frame with a correct anteroposterior projection and facial width. The zygomatic arch injury is diagnosed using axial CT scanning. Three-hundred and seventeen arches have been exposed through a coronal incision following acute trauma and 47 arches have been exposed in patients requiring late correction of a posttraumatic orbitozygomaticomaxillary deformity. Permanent palsy to the frontal branch of the facial nerve has occurred in one patient following the exact definition of the anatomy of this region.

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