Strategies for the treatment of enophthalmos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The surgical correction of post-traumatic enophthalmos is among the most challenging problems for the surgeon. A thorough understanding of orbital anatomy and the purposed mechanisms of enophthalmos is crucial to the ultimate success or failure of the procedures. The successful orbital reconstruction begins with a careful physical examination of the patient that is attentive to ocular function, soft-tissue position, and visible or palpable defects of the facial skeleton. The physical examination combined with thin section CT scanning in the axial and coronal planes provides the basis of the operative plan. The anatomy of the deformity should dictate the anatomy and shape in the surgical correction. In many cases, multiple surgical incisions will be required; therefore, care must be taken to maximize exposure and minimize the cosmetic problems associated with large incisions. We advocate a step-wise approach consisting of mobilization of the soft tissues in the area of the fracture, repositioning of the anterior and middle sections of the bony orbit, and reattachment of the soft tissue to the bone at the proper location. The approach to reconstruction of the bony orbit that we advocate is to first sequentially reposition each segment of the rim, carefully examining each articulation. Once rim reconstruction is complete, reconstruction of the internal wall is performed. Recall that the largest source of error is in inadequate reduction of the orbital rim, owing to the fact that this error is 'squared' (according to the model) in the computation of the orbital volume. Through the application of these principles, the cosmetic and functional sequelae of post-traumatic enophthalmos can be improved greatly with minimal complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-550
Number of pages12
JournalClinics in Plastic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 30 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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