MANAGEMENT OF PETROUS BONE FRACTURES IN CHILDREN: ANALYSIS OF 127 CASES

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Abstract

Petrous bone fractures (PBF) in children are relatively frequent. They are mostly diagnosed after collisions and falls. The complications typically associated with PBF were different types of hearing disorders in 69.1% of the patients who had audiometry, liquorrhea in 16.5%, palsy of cranial nerves in 10.8% (facial nerve palsy in 9.4%), bacterial meningitis, stenosis of the external ear canal, and posttraumatic cholesteatoma in 0.7% of the fractures each. Most complications were transient; 8.6% of the patients underwent surgery because of PBF-related complications and 9.4% suffered from severe, irreversible sequelae. Management of PBF in children requires an interdisciplinary approach between pediatric surgeons and pediatric ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists. It basically includes daily examination for cranial nerve palsy, liquorrhea, and meningitis during hospitalization as well as routine audiometric examination and antibiotic prophylaxis. Routine vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae as a new standard procedure and subtotal petrosectomy after transverse fracture as a new surgical modality are strongly recommended in order to lower the incidence of posttraumatic meningitis. Severe complications such as persistent hearing loss, persistent liquorrhea, cranial nerve palsy, and posttraumatic meningitis require aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic measures in order to minimize further morbidity and irreversible deficits.

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