Comparison of orbital fracture repair performed within 14 days versus 15 to 29 days after trauma

Albert J Dal Canto, John V Linberg
Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2008, 24 (6): 437-43

PURPOSE: To examine whether orbital floor and/or medial wall fracture repair delayed for 15 to 29 days is as effective as early surgery.

METHODS: A retrospective review is reported comparing outcomes of early fracture repairs (performed 1-14 days after trauma) to delayed fracture repairs (performed 15-29 days after trauma). Ocular motility, diplopia, and time to resolution of diplopia postoperatively are the main endpoints.

RESULTS: Fifty-eight patients were included in the study: 36 underwent early fracture repair (average 9 days after trauma) and 22 underwent delayed fracture repair (average 19 days after trauma). Ocular motility was equivalent in both groups, both before and after surgery. Patient reports of diplopia and frequency of strabisumus surgery were also equivalent in both groups. The time to resolution or stability of diplopia postoperatively is independent of the time to surgery within the first 29 days after trauma.

CONCLUSIONS: Although 14 days after trauma is commonly cited as a timeline target for orbital blowout repair, these data show that effective fracture repair can be performed up to 29 days after trauma. Patients with improving diplopia and at low risk for enophthalmos can therefore be observed for 3 to 4 weeks prior to undergoing surgery. This may help prevent unnecessary surgery in some cases. Fourteen days need not be considered a deadline for orbital floor and/or medial wall fracture repair.

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