Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can anything be done about a broken bone under my eye?"
Fell off my bike and scraped up my face and gave myself a black eye. My dad said that my eye is too swollen and I might have a broken bone below my eye but there is nothing I can do about it. I just have to wait for it to heal. Is that true? Can surgery or something else fix the broken bone?
Yes, there is something that can be done to fix broken bones that are under the eye. The orbital rim, which is comprised of multiple bones, is subject to breaking when there is trauma to the eye or to the rim itself. The inferior (or lower) border of the rim has some very thin bone in the posterior part, which will often break if there is pressure applied directly to the eye. This is called an orbital blowout fracture, and can be especially problematic when a part of the muscle that moves the eye becomes trapped in the hole that is created when the bone breaks. These can and often are repaired, but are also sometimes left alone if there is no muscle entrapment and there is no permanent cosmetic defect. The key at this point is that you should be seen by a doctor or surgeon who is familiar with facial trauma. An otolaryngologist, or ear-nose and throat surgeon, is trained to deal with this specific type of injury, and would be able to advise you if a repair is indicated. While there may be no need to do anything about your injury, it is important to have it properly evaluated. Please see a doctor.
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