How to treat a broken cheekbone

Cheekbone injuries such as fractures can be treated with surgery.

If you have a broken cheekbone, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Treatment will vary depending on the severity of the break, but typically involves a combination of rest, ice, and pain medication. Surgery may also be necessary to correct any damage to the bone or surrounding tissue. Here we will discuss how a broken cheekbone can be treated surgically, as well as what to expect from the recovery process following your procedure.

What are facial fractures?

Facial fractures refer to broken bones in any area of the face, including the cheekbones, nose, upper and lower jaw and the area surrounding the eyes. In most cases, facial fractures occur as the result of trauma to the face — some of the most common causes of these injuries include car accidents, sports injuries, assault, and hard knocks or falls.

Most facial fractures cause some level of pain and discomfort. When it comes to cheekbone fractures specifically, some of the most common symptoms include pain, particularly associated with the movement of the jaw; flattening of the affected cheek; and problems with vision.

In many cases, cheekbone and eye socket injuries occur together — in this case, symptoms may include a black eye; blurry vision numbness in the cheek, eyelids and/or forehead; and swelling in the cheek and forehead.

What are the treatment options?

The severity of your injury will determine the treatment that is most appropriate for you. If your doctor recommends surgery, their goal will be to reposition the damaged bones in order to improve function and prevent further damage.

If cheekbone surgery is an option for you, your surgeon will explain the procedure in detail to you before beginning treatment. When you see your surgeon for a consultation, it is advisable that you raise any questions or concerns that you have.

During cheekbone surgery, your surgeon will make one or more small incisions through the hairline through which the cheekbone can be accessed and repositioned. These incisions will be hidden to ensure that you are not left with any visible scarring.

What does the recovery involve?

You will need to stay in hospital for a short period following cheekbone surgery. It is completely normal to experience some pain and discomfort when the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off, and your surgeon will prescribe the appropriate medications to help alleviate these side effects. In some cases, antibiotics will be prescribed in order to prevent infection.

Other side effects of cheekbone surgery include bruising and swelling, which are most evident in the first 48 hours or so following the procedure. These side effects will gradually resolve with time, and your surgeon will explain how to best take care of your site of surgery during the recovery period.

How can we help?

If you have a cheekbone injury as a result of an accident, assault, sporting incident or fall, we can help. At OMFS in Melbourne, we offer a range of procedures for the treatment of facial trauma, including cheekbone surgery.

If you decide to go ahead with cheekbone surgery, the procedure will be performed under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make a small incision through the hairline in the temple so that they can access the cheekbone and place it in back in the correct position. Sometimes, small plates and screws are used to hold the cheekbone and eye socket in place.

If you would like to find out more about cheekbone surgery, what the process involves and what to expect from the recovery period, please have a look here.

We also offer a range of other oral and maxillofacial procedures. If you have an existing concern or need an emergency procedure for the treatment of facial trauma, we can help. To see our full scope of procedures, please have a look here.

To arrange an appointment, please get in touch here or give us a call on (03) 9347 3788.