EYE SOCKET FRACTURE INJURY – MN ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
A broken eye socket causes intense pain, swelling, and a black eye, which makes it easy to diagnose. A broken eye injury is caused by trauma to the eye, often an accident of some kind. Our lawyers have represented people with a broken eye socket from an accident.
The eye socket is the bony structure surrounding and protecting the eye. In addition to the eye, it houses all the muscles, nerves, and connective tissues that connect to and move the eye. Some parts of the eye socket are hard, thick, and difficult to break. Other areas are fragile and more prone to breaking. A broken eye socket always requires medical attention, but treatment and recovery times can vary according to the severity of the break.
The eye socket is also called the orbit. While it feels like one solid structure, it consists of seven different bones that connect to create four different areas. A fracture can occur in any one of these areas, creating different injuries:
- Orbital rim fracture. These breaks occur in the outer edges of the eye socket. The orbital rim is very thick, so only extreme force, such as an injury from a car accident, can break it. This serious force can also injure the nerves, muscles, and connective tissues in the eye.
- Direct orbital floor fracture. An orbital rim fracture may extend to the orbital floor to cause a direct orbital floor fracture. This will usually occur as a result of severe trauma.
- Indirect orbital floor fracture. Also called a blowout fracture, an indirect orbital floor fracture typically occurs when an object, such as a steering wheel, fist, baseball, or elbow hits a person in the face. The impact leaves the bony rim of the socket intact but causes a hole in the floor of the eye socket. This hole can trap muscles, nerves, or other tissues, which makes it difficult for the eye to move and causes vision problems.
- Trapdoor fracture. Trapdoor fractures generally only occur in children because their bones are more flexible. This is a type of orbital floor fracture. Instead of fracturing, the bones flex outward, and then return to their normal position. While not technically a bone break, trapdoor fractures can still lead to severe and sometimes permanent damage.
The main symptom of a broken eye socket is pain around the eye. Depending on the type of fracture and its severity, the additional symptoms below may also occur:
- eyelid swelling
- a black eye with very dark discoloration around the injury
- bleeding in the white of the eye
- numbness in the cheeks, forehead, or upper lip area
- double vision, blurred vision, or difficulty seeing
- inability to move the eye
- a drooping eyelid
- sensitivity to light
- a sunken or bulging eye
- a flattened cheek, usually making it painful to open the mouth
- a pocket of air under the skin near the eye
- nausea and vomiting, in the case of trapdoor fractures
Treatment and recovery
Many broken eye sockets heal without surgery. If doctors believe that the fracture can heal naturally, they may recommend some complementary treatments, including antibiotics to prevent infections and special nasal sprays to stop the person from sneezing and displacing the bones.
Treating a broken eye socket with surgery
Surgery for a broken eye socket can be risky and is not always the best treatment method. If surgery is necessary, the surgeon may wait a few weeks until the swelling in the eye reduces.
Specific symptoms that may require surgery include:
- an eye that is still pushed back into the eye socket after several weeks of healing
- signs of lasting facial deformity
- double vision or other vision changes that persist after the swelling goes down
A reconstructive surgeon that deals with eye injuries may perform the surgery. Depending on the specific fracture, the surgical procedures may include:
- freeing trapped muscles, ligaments, or nerves
- removing bone fragments
- restructuring the eye socket
- repairing deformities
Anyone experiencing symptoms of a broken eye socket should seek immediate medical attention. With proper treatment, the outlook for eye socket fractures is good. Even when surgery is necessary to repair a fracture, it is likely that the fracture will heal without long-term complications. However, there will be significant medical bills and often the victim will miss time from work that must be reimbursed if the injury was from an accident caused by another person.
Our top Minnesota accident injury lawyers have represented hundreds of people with many types of injuries including eye injury, broken eye socket, blindness and many others. If your eye is injured in an accident, car accident, bar attack, injury on business property, etc. please call us for a free consultation with a best MN injury lawyer. Our attorneys will explain your rights to you and make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to.