[Pterional orbital decompression in traumatic orbital hematomas]

M C Korinth, A Ince, W Banghard, F J Hans, J M Gilsbach
Der Unfallchirurg 2002, 105 (4): 322-6
The results are presented for pterional orbital decompression in 12 patients with symptomatic traumatic retrobulbar hematoma after various traumatic mechanisms. Pre- and postoperative course, neuroradiological findings, additional brain or facial injuries as well as outcome of eye function are analyzed in detail. Mean time delay between trauma and decompression was 56 h (2.4 days), with a wide range from 2 h to 15 days. Preoperative exophthalmos and pupillary disturbances as well as restrictions of extraocular movements decreased in all patients after orbital decompression and removal of the retrobulbar hematoma if the bleeding was localized. Visual acuity remained normal or showed significant improvement in seven patients, four of whom experienced complete recovery. In three patients the eye remained amaurotic. No complications related to the operation were seen. The pterional orbital decompression described here represents an effective alternative approach for patients with sight-threatening retrobulbar hematoma, especially in cases where it is necessary to gain space for the orbit in addition to evacuating space-occupying blood or bone clots and treating neighbouring lesions. Immediate detection and adequate treatment of orbital hematomas is mandatory to achieve an acceptable outcome of eye function.

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