Footprints of the Globe: A Practical Look at the Mechanism of Orbital Blowout Fractures, with a Revisit to the Work of Raymond Pfeiffer

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Abstract

Multiple mechanisms of orbital blowout fractures have been proposed since the fracture was described at the beginning of this century. The original theory of direct globe-to-wall contact was abandoned long ago for the more contemporary hydraulic and bone conduction theories. Although the more widely accepted theories play an obvious role in fracture generation and its associated complications, it is our contention that direct globe-to-wall contact is an important and largely unrecognized mechanism in orbital blowout fracture production. By means of a critical review of the historical literature and an analysis of patient computed tomography scans, support is presented for the original theory first proposed by Raymond Pfeiffer in 1943.1 (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 103: 1313, 1999.)

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