Facial Fracture-Associated Blindness

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Yet uncommon, blindness is a potential associated injury of facial fractures.


Epidemiology, mechanisms, fracture types, and outcome of facial fractures-associated blindness in a 10-year period are retrospectively reviewed.


Out of 907 facial fractures patients, 10 had blindness, giving a frequency of 1.1%. There were 9 men and 1 woman whom age range was 6 to 59 years (mean: 31.2 years). Intentional injury patients were significantly the most at risk of blindness (P = 0.02). In all the patients, the fracture involved at least 1 of the orbit walls. Risk of blindness was significantly higher in naso-fronto-orbito-ethmoidal complex fractures (P = 0.03). The vision loss was recorded in 13 eyes (unilateral in 7 patients and bilateral in 3). Its predominant mechanism was a globe rupture or perforation, recorded in 8 eyes. A treatment with intention to improve the vision was attempted in 1 patient only. None of the patients had vision recovery.


The findings of this study commend comprehensive ophthalmologic evaluation in any patient with an orbit wall fracture.

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