How Can I Tell If I Had A Facial Fracture Or Not?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a question regarding a potential facial fracture I was hoping you could answer.

So back in January I took a couple falls after drinking a little too much. There wasn’t any terrible pain or obvious swelling, however I did have a lingering feeling in the mid face for several months. Additionally, I feel as if my face looks less symmetrical, although there is no obvious deformity.

I was wondering whether I could have fractured something in my face despite not having the obvious symptoms of a fracture? Additionally, would imaging show a theoretical fracture even if the incident  happened 7 months ago? This has been bothering me a while, and I’m unsure whether an imagine/exam would be able to confirm whether I had a break? Thanks for reading,

A: In answer to your facial fracture questions:

1) It would be very unlikely to have had almost any form of a facial fracture without some swelling/bruising or other physical evidence that it had occurred.

2) Even if some small fracture line had occurred, it would likely not he evident any longer in a typical x-ray. What may appear in a 3D CT however would be any evidence of an area of depression or abnormal shape that resulted from the fracture which would be most relevant in the midface where the thinnest bones on the face exist.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana