Traumatic Injuries of the Head and Neck
Facial trauma remains in today’s society of high speed motor vehicles, sports, in the workplace, or at home. Trauma to a child’s face most frequently results from auto accidents and falls. The scope of injuries which can occur to the craniofacial skeleton and its overlying soft tissue are endless. Damage can be as subtle as a mild abrasion or as devastating as an open facial fracture. Obviously, the mode of evaluation and resultant treatment plan is completely dependent upon the presenting problem. With the craniofacial approach to skeletal injuries of the face and jaws, primary repair with excellent cosmetic results can be expected in most cases when they are treated at centers of excellence.
Advanced craniofacial techniques, using skin, cartilage or bone grafts, combined with new dissolvable plating and suture materials, all offer a modern approach to reconstructive surgery. These newer techniques and technology allow for the reconstruction of even the most complex of facial injuries.
Specialized structures which may be injured include:
- Muscles for lip movement and eyelid closure
- Nerves for sensation and movement of the face
- Cartilages for support of the ears and nose
- Bones for support of the orbital contents and facial form
The evaluation and diagnosis of facial trauma requires a careful clinical examination often along with a CT scan where fractured bones may be best visualized. It is important for treatment to be managed by a team of specialists. Pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeons are highly experienced in treating traumatic injuries in children and preventing post-traumatic deformities and disfiguring scars. Pediatric plastic surgeons team with pediatric trauma surgeons, ENT surgeons and neurosurgeons to assure the best outcome for children.