Maxillary Injuries – An Overview
The maxilla is the upper jaw bone and acts as a bridge between the roof of the mouth and the nasal cavity. This bone is most likely to suffer an injury due to a sports activity or a similar trauma to the front of the face.
A severe maxillary injury usually involves a fracture of the upper jaw bone (maxilla) or the lower jaw bone (mandible) mostly.
Types of Maxillary Injuries
A trauma to the front of the face can cause two main types of injuries:
- Nasal Fracture – These injuries make up for the majority of facial trauma cases. The main cause for this injury has been found to be inter-personal assault. If left untreated for long, such as injury can also lead to various complications such as permanent disfigurement as well as breathing and speech difficulties.
- Soft Tissue Injury – Injury to the facial soft tissues are likely to cause disfigurement and also result in permanent damage to the underlying structure. Such an injury can cause problems with the parotid ducts, lacrimal ducts, facial nerves as well as the main vascular (blood supply) structure of the face.
Signs and Symptoms for Maxillary Injuries
There are certain distinct signs and symptoms that indicate towards the presence of a severe maxillary (upper jaw) injury (or fracture), such as:
- Misaligned upper and lower jaw
- Problem in opening the mouth to normal width
- Facial disfigurement
- Vision problem
- Numbness in skin below the eye
- Sunken eyeball
- Breathing difficulty
Diagnosing Maxillary Injuries
The initial diagnosis for a maxillary injury is mostly done through a physical examination, which helps to check for fracture to the maxillary (upper jaw) bone.
In case, the physical examination determines that the maxillary is serious, or is a fracture, they will advise an x-ray test to determine the exact location, type and severity of the fracture in the upper jaw bone.
A computerized tomography (CT) scan is usually followed to get a detailed view of the fracture with non-invasive methods. A neck x-ray will also be advised to detect for possible spinal injury, in order to avoid complications arising in the future.
In case the patient shows signs of cranial trauma, a CT scan of the brain will be required to determine brain damage.
An eye examination may also be needed if the injury extends to the eye structure and affects the vision in any way.
Maxillary Injury Treatment Procedures
Maxillary (upper jaw) bone injuries can range from mild to severe (fracture) and the type of treatment method required will depend on the type of injury.
A mild injury is usually advised rest as part of the treatment. This may involve not using the jaw and the doctor may have to put the patient on liquid/soft-food diet for the term of treatment using non-surgical methods. In case the injury is painful and swelling in seen the doctor might also prescribe painkillers.
In case the injury is mildly severe but affects breathing through obstruction of the air-passage (trachea) the doctor/surgeon will insert an endotracheal tube to allow normal breathing.
Severe types of maxillary fractures require surgical treatment as the bones are either dislocated or broken altogether. The surgeon will use medical-grade metal screws, pin and plates to fix the broken bone and restore the bone structure to normal. The surgeon may also choose to use medical-grade wire to shut the jaw closed together for a few weeks in order to allow healing of the broken jaw bones.
Most common maxillary injury surgical treatments are required for correcting vision symptoms, changed teeth alignment, restricted jaw movement, facial numbness, sunken eyeball as well as disfigurement due to a fracture or an injury to the maxillary (upper jaw) bone. In such cases, the doctor/surgeon will usually schedule surgery for repairing a broken maxillary bone, or its surrounding structure, after the swelling decreases.
Maxillary injury treatment is required to restore function in a damaged upper jaw as well as to treat disfigurement caused to the maxillofacial structure due to an injury or a medical disorder.
Affordable Maxillary Injury Treatment with Travcure Medical Tourism
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