Facial fractures have formerly been classified solely by anatomic location. CT scans now identify the exact fracture pattern in a specific area. Fracture patterns are classified as low, middle, or high energy, defined solely by the pattern of segmentation and displacement in the CT scan. Exposure and fixation relate directly to the fracture pattern for each anatomic area of the face, including frontal bone, frontal sinus, zygoma, nose, na-soethmoidal-orbital region, midface, and mandible. Fractures with little comminution and displacement were accompanied by subtle symptoms and required simple treatment; middle-energy injuries were treated by standard surgical approaches and rigid fixation. Highly comminuted fractures were accompanied by dramatic instability and marked alterations in facial architecture; only multiple surgical approaches to fully visualize the "buttress" system provided alignment and fixation. Classification of facial fractures by (1) anatomic location and (2) pat tern of comminution and displacement define refined guidelines for exposure and fixation.
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