Orbital floor (eye socket) fractures are a very common traumatic injury. Orbital floor fractures frequently occur from blunt force trauma to the cheek, temple or even the eyeball (globe) itself. The bone on the bottom of the eye socket is thin, similar to an eggshell, and sits above an air-filled cavity called the maxillary sinus. When a significant impact occurs in and around the eye this thin bone commonly will burst allowing the eye itself, along with the surrounding soft tissues, to descend into the maxillary sinus. Believe it or not, this serves as a protective mechanism for the eye so that it will not rupture. Orbital floor fractures can occur alone, but also commonly occur in association with other facial injuries such as cheek bone fractures (ZMC or Zygomatico-Maxillary Complex fractures), naso-septal fractures and nasal bone fractures.
Common signs and symptoms of an orbital floor fracture:
1) Recent history of blunt force trauma to the face and facial bones.
2) Significant bruising and swelling around the eye and on the eyelids. (aka periorbital ecchymosis & edema).
3) Eyeball that appears sunken in. (aka enopthalmos).
4) Inability to move the affected eye upwards, downwards and side-to-side (aka gaze restriction).
5) Significant double vision (aka diplopia).
If you have sustained a facial injury, and suspect that you may have a facial bone fracture, you should contact Dr. Brenner for an immediate evaluation.