Can My Old Cheek Bone Fracture be Fixed?

Q: Nearly 15 years ago I was assaulted and punched repeatedly while unconscious. This resulted in broken bones in my face which were never fixed at the time. I have a sunken cheek and I believe my eye has dropped slightly with it. Can my cheek be repaired being that it was so long ago?

A: It sounds like your original facial fracture was of the zygomatic-orbital complex variety which displaced in its classic manner, downward and into the maxillary sinus. When this ‘cheekbone complex’ falls down like this it creates a depressed or sunken cheek (lack of cheek projection/prominence) as well as moving the floor of the eye down with it. (eyeball moves downward)

Just because it has been allowed to heal and needs secondary correction does not preclude that it can be treated. But the type of treatment changes when the injury is old like yours as opposed to when it was a freshly broken. Depending upon the degree of bone displacement, there are two options. If the cheek displaccement is fairly mild, it can be treated with a cheek implant and possibly an orbital floor implant and repositioning of the corner of the eye tendon. (lateral canthoplasty) If the bone displacement is more severe, however, it is better to cut the cheekbone complex (osteotomy) and do bone grafting. Simply trying to build up bone with implants that is way out of position does not produce a result that looks very natural.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana