Can A Cheek Implant Be Used To Make An Old Cheek Fracture Look Better?

Q: I have a fracture in my right cheek bone from a fall. There is a dent in bone. Is there anything that could be done to fix it. I’d like to send a picture of me to you.

A: Thank you for sending your picture. What it shows is the sequelae of a a cheek or zygomatic infracture. When the cheek bone is struck with enough force it will fracture the ‘legs’ of bone which support it. When the cheek bone loses this support, it will always fall down and inward impacting into the maxillary sinus. This is known as a rotation fracture. When this happens the prominence of the cheek is lost, causing an indentation of the cheek. That indentation will appear just below and to the side of the eye. It is the prominence of the cheekbone which is lost.

Secondary of uncomplicated cheek fractures can take two approaches depending upon the degree of displacement and if there are other associated symptoms. Rebreaking the bone (cheek osteotomy) is only indicated when the amount of displacement is severe and there may be some nerve pain or numbness and alteration of the corner of the eye. If the indentation is the only problem, however, a cheek implant will usually suffice.

Through an intraoral (inside the mouth) incision, a cheek implant can be easily placed. It is important to have the right shape of cheek implant and that it is accurately positioned over the loss of prominence for the best correction.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana