ZocdocAnswerswhat happens if I do not get treatment for fractured zygomatic bone?

Question

what happens if I do not get treatment for fractured zygomatic bone?

i hit a tree driver side head on at 40 plus miles per hour. my face hit the steering as the bag deployed starting two days ago my left zygomatic bone started swelling and hurting. it seems to be getting worse rather than better. my brother is a doc and he pushed for x rays. my point of view is what can be done anyways. he is a good doc i know but I do not have a bunch of $$ to pay to hear it is fractured so what tell me surgery? I have no money or I would have gone with EMS that day I mean my back is steadily hurting more part of my face on the right side is numb. Again I say why go to a doctor?

Answer

You have many concerning symptoms and I would suggest an in-person evaluation with a doctor immediately. Although it is not possible to tell the reasons for your symptoms (including whether or not you have a fracture of your zygomatic arch) without an in-person consultation, your symptoms of residual worsening swelling and redness after a known trauma are concerning for a fracture. If there is a significant fracture, it may require surgery or plating in order to heal properly - unrepaired you run a risk of significant chronic pain or malformation if the bones heal improperly. Your concerns of numbness on the side of your face are likely due to an injury of the nerve that carries sensation; in patients without other significant injuries these often heal on their own, restoring sensation to the area, but if you have an additional fracture it may heal improperly or not at all. Finally, the pain in your back is very concerning given your history of trauma; it is possible to have a spinal fracture after this type of accident, which can make the spine unstable and give you a risk of paralysis if you have further injury to the area. Although I understand medical care is expensive and insurance co-pays can be substantial, I strongly urge you to at least see your primary care doctor for these complaints; explain your financial and insurance situation to your doctor at your visit and they will help you determine which tests are important to do and what the possible outcomes and further referrals may be after each test.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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