Cheekbone Reduction Reversal

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in cheekbone reduction reversal. I had cheekbone reduction surgery done five years ago in south Korea. One year after the operation, I developed right cheekbone pain which often persists all day  and I realized I can’t chew anything on the right side of jaw. In addition, I could hear sounds from both of my cheekbones every time when I’m swallowing. Recently, my right cheekbone pain is getting worse, the pain prevents me from opening my month, and I can’t even speak normally because of the pain from my right cheekbone. 

I have been doing some research on cheekbone reduction, and try to find the cause of my pain. It seems like the cause of my pain could be the improper fixation on cheekbone so that the screws get loosed. Since I have heard a lot of recommendations about you, I want to ask you is there anyway can fix my cheekbone and relieve my pain? I can send you my CT scan if you need it. I would greatly appreciate it if you kindly give me a short reply on my problem.

A: Thank you for your inquiry. By your description of symptoms, it sounds like that you either have a non-union of the cheekbone osteotomy, malposition of the cheekbone position or a combination of both. X-rays would establish that diagnosis. A 3D CT scan would be ideal but the CT scan you have may also be adequate.

Secondary surgery can certainly be done with repositioning of the bone segments and rigid plate fixation. Given that it has been a year, the bone edges will also need to be freshened up and an allogeneic bone graft placed probably. The difficulty with opening your mouth indicates that the coronoid process may be impinged and this may also need to be released.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana