Fractures of the bones of the face are treated in a manner similar to orthopaedic injuries in other parts of the body. The specific form of treatment is determined by various factors, which include the location of the fracture, the severity of the fracture, the age and general health of the patient, and most importantly the facial bone involved. Facial bone fractures can be classified as fractures of the Mandible (lower jaw), Maxilla (top jaw), Zygoma (cheek bone), Orbit (eye bone), Frontal bone (forehead) and the Nasal bones.
The treatment of facial fractures should be accomplished in a thorough and predictable manner. More importantly, the patient's facial appearance should be minimally affected. An attempt at accessing the facial bones through the fewest incisions necessary is always made. At the same time, the incisions that become necessary, are designed to be small and, whenever possible, are placed so that the resultant scar is hidden.
Facial bone fractures are corrected with an Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF) method. In simpler terms, fractured bone segments are directly manipulated and reduced in the correct position. The reduced segments are then fixated in the reduced position using titanium screws and plates. There are a multitude of various plate and screw combinations including compression plates, non-compression plates, lag-screws, mini-plates and biodegradable plates.