Naso-orbital-ethmoid injury: Report of a case and review of the literature

R. Donald Heine, Guy A. Catone, J. Bruce Bavitz, Mark R. Grenadier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Trauma to the midface severe enough to cause nasal fractures will often result in fractures of the bony naso-orbital-ethmoid (NOE) complex. Extensive damage may be encountered in the interorbital area because of the fragility of the bony framework. The medial orbital walls, ethmoid sinuses, and cribriform area of the anterior cranial fossa can resist a maximum compressive force of only 30 g. NOE injuries are usually the result of either a direct blow sustained during an altercation or of a high-velocity motor vehicle accident. Quite often multiple systemic injuries serve to complicate treatment. NOE fractures present the surgeon with numerous challenges during repair. The delicate bony architecture, anatomic framework, and cosmetic expectations indicate comprehensive, thorough treatment. Damage to the eye, which is basically an extension of the brain, is of major concern. Pupillary discrepancies, retrobulbar hematoma, and damage to the optic nerve must be ruled out. Early surgical management is indicated because delayed repair or inadequate treatment prediposes the patient to defects that may be extremely difficult if not impossible to correct with secondary procedures. Numerous articles have been published describing the NOE injury. The multifaceted array of fractures seen in NOE injuries has been formulated into a comprehensive classification by Gruss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-549
Number of pages8
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Dentistry


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