Learning Objectives: After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Undertake a thorough and efficient preoperative assessment of the facial fracture patient. 2. Understand the appropriate indications for and timing of surgical interventions. 3. Be aware of the optimal approaches to gain exposure to facial fracture sites. 4. Have a general understanding of the operative sequence involved in the repair. 5. Gain an appreciation for the most common and significant complications seen after these injuries and their treatment.
Summary: Fractures of the facial skeleton can result in the loss of an aesthetically pleasing appearance and basic function, and many cases subsequently require an operative intervention. The surgeon managing these facial fractures must, at the same time, be cognizant of concomitant injuries, including neurologic, ophthalmologic, and cervical spine issues. For most situations, early stabilization in anatomical position using rigid fixation will give the most accurate reduction for the optimal return of preoperative appearance and function, while reducing long-term soft-tissue contracture.