Maxillo-facial trauma

D. Ghysen, O. Ozsarlak, L. Van den Hauwe, J. Van Goethem, A. M. De Schepper, P. M. Parizel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Injuries to the facial bones, orbits and adjacent soft tissue structures are common. Despite the increasing safety precautions in modern cars, facial injury is very often caused by motor vehicle accidents. Severe trauma to the face is a strong indication for radiological investigation. In the patient with maxillo-facial trauma, the radiological exploration of should answer two major questions: do the fractures involve areas that may alter the physiologic function of the sinuses, mouth, nasal vault or orbit?, and will the fracture result in any cosmetically detectable abnormality? The goal of the radiological work-up is to define the number and exact location of the fractures, to determine if there is any depression, elevation, or distraction of the fracture fragments, and to assess concomitant soft tissue complications. In this article, we review the role of clinical evaluation, plain X-rays, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Imaging findings are correlated with anatomic and physiopathologic considerations. We present a practical classification system of facial trauma, with emphasis on trauma of the paranasal sinuses and facial bones (nasal and tripod fractures, Le Fort fractures) and orbits (foreign bodies, soft tissue and orbital wall injuries such as blow-in and blow-out -, lateral wall - and apical fractures). A third part focuses on trauma of the mandible and the temporomandibular joints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalJournal Belge de Radiologie
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2000
Externally publishedYes


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