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White-eyed blowout fracture: Another look

Authors

  • Patrick Mehanna,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, St. Georges Hospital, London,
      Mr Patrick Mehanna, Deparment of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, John Hunter Hospital, Lookout Road, New Lambton, Newcastle, NSW 2305, Australia. Email: drpmehanna@hotmail.com
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  • Daniel Mehanna,

    1. Department of Surgery, Caboolture Hospital, Caboolture, Queensland, Australia
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  • Andrew Cronin

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, Wales, UK; and
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  • P Mehanna, MB BS, BDS, FRACDS, FDSRCS (Eng.), FRACDS (OMS), Fellow in Maxillofacial/Head and Neck Surgery; D Mehanna, MB BS, BSc (Med), FRACS, Consultant General Surgeon; A Cronin, BDS, FFDRCSI, FDSRCS(Ed), MB BCh, FRCS(Gen), FRCS(OMFS), Consultant in Maxillofacial Surgery.

Mr Patrick Mehanna, Deparment of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, John Hunter Hospital, Lookout Road, New Lambton, Newcastle, NSW 2305, Australia. Email: drpmehanna@hotmail.com

Abstract

Orbital floor fractures have the potential to cause significant morbidity both in the short and long terms and commonly present to the ED for initial assessment. Although treatment of the majority of these injuries involves clinic review and possible later surgery, there is a specific subset that present to emergency clinically suggestive of a head injury. This subset, ‘white-eyed blowout’, usually occurring under 18 years of age, with a history of trauma and little sign of soft tissue injury, describes a trap door orbital floor fracture with herniation and acute entrapment of orbital muscle and is regarded as a maxillofacial emergency. The injury presents with marked nausea, vomiting, headache and irritability suggestive of a head injury that commonly distracts from the true aetiology. It requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to avoid permanent morbidity. We present three cases and discuss their management.

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