What do You Mean by Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture?

Our eye is surrounded by a bony structure into which the eyes are located. This bony structure is called as the Eye Socket. It so happens after an individual incurs some sort of injury to this bony structure such as when being involved in a motor vehicle crash or being assaulted resulting in a broken bone or bones of this structure then it is termed as a Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture. Depending on where the Eye Socket is fractured or broken there can be damage incurred to the structure of the eye itself. A Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture may be mild or severe depending on the magnitude of the injury. If the fracture is mild then it does not need any specific treatments whereas if the injury is significant then treatment will be required including reconstructive surgery.

What are the Causes of Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture?

What are the Causes of Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture?

Majority of cases of Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture happen due to a motor vehicle crash, sporting injuries like boxing or rugby or being assaulted by someone or in cases of domestic violence. In maximum cases, Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture occurs after being hit by a blunt object like a baseball bat, jackhammer, being hit on the face during a boxing game. Domestic violence also plays a role in occurrence of Broken Eye Socket, as the victim gets hit on the face either by hand or by some object. Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture due to vehicle crashes have decreased in percentage due to added security features in the cars nowadays.

What are the Symptoms of Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture?

The symptoms of Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture are variable and may include the following:

  • Black or blue discoloration of the eye after a trauma may indicate a broken eye socket or Eye Socket Fracture
  • Swelling in and around the eye region
  • Diplopia or decreased vision from the injured eye
  • Difficulty moving the eye in any direction
  • Abnormal position of the eye
  • Numbness in the forehead, eyelids, cheek, or upper lip
  • Swelling and deformity of the cheek.

How is Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose a Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture the patient will be taken to an ophthalmologist immediately after the injury where a detailed history of how the injury occurred will be taken. The physician will then palpate the injured area gently and will also palpate the cheek to look for any area of tenderness and pain. The physician will also look for any visible deformity which might confirm the diagnosis of Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture. The physician will ask you to move the injured eye in all directions. The physician will ask the patient if he or she is experiencing double or blurred vision. Once Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture is suspected, the physician will order radiological studies in the form of x-rays and CT scan to look at the internal areas of the injured area around the eye to confirm the presence of Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture.

How is Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture Treated?

Treatment for Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture depends on the severity of the condition. If the injury is small and uncomplicated and there is no severe injury to the eyes then conservative management with ice packs and antibiotics may suffice for treatment. The patient will be recommended bedrest for a few days to allow the injury to heal. The patient will be advised not to strain the eyes during the resting period. The patient will be advised to stay away from watching television or reading books so as not to strain the eyes.

In cases if there is significant damage to the eye and the surrounding regions due to Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture, then the patient will be recommended reconstructive surgery in order to correct the deformity. If the structure of the eye is significantly damaged a plastic surgeon will come into picture to correct the deformity for cosmetic purposes. During the surgery the surgeon will remove any bony fragments that may be present, will release any trapped muscle within the broken bone so as to correct diplopia, and get the eye back into shape inside the eye socket.

Recovery Period or Healing Time for Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture

The healing time for Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture depends on the severity of the condition. For mild cases of Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture it takes about a fortnight for the swelling and discoloration to go away but it may take a few more weeks for the fracture to completely heal. In case if surgery is required to treat a Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture then it may up to six months for complete recovery from Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture.

How Can Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture be Prevented?

Broken Eye Socket or Eye Socket Fracture is a preventable condition. Make sure you follow the following in order to protect your eyes:

  • Wearing appropriate protective gear for the eyes while working, especially in construction
  • Wear appropriate protection while playing sports like hockey or rugby
  • Try and avoid being hit in the eye while boxing
  • Wear seat belts while driving in order to protect the eye from Broken Eye Socket as a result of a car crash.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 5, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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