Eyelid trauma

Periocular haematoma

  • A ‘black eye,’ consisting of a haematoma (focal collection of blood) and/or periocular ecchymosis (diffuse bruising) and oedema, is a very common result of blunt injury and is generally innocuous.

  • It is important to exclude serious associated damage to the eyeball or orbital structures, particularly occult orbital roof fracture (subconjunctival haemorrhage without a visible posterior limit may be an indicator), and basal skull fracture (may give bilateral ring haematoma—‘panda eyes’; Fig. 21.1 ).

    Fig 21.1


Repair should be by direct closure whenever possible, because this affords the best functional and cosmetic result.

  • Marginal lacerations: sutured with perfect alignment to prevent notching.

  • Extensive tissue loss: may require a major reconstructive procedure as following tumour resection.

  • Canalicular lacerations ( Fig. 21.2 ): should be repaired within 24 hr with bicanalicular (e.g. Crawford) or monocanalicular (e.g. Mini Monoka) silicone stenting.

    Fig 21.2

Blow-out orbital floor fracture

  • Pathogenesis: sudden increase in orbital pressure due to an impacting object ( Fig. 21.3 ). The fracture most frequently involves the relatively weaker floor of the orbit along the thin bone covering the infraorbital canal. Occasionally, the orbital wall, the rim, and/or adjacent facial bones may be fractured.

    Fig 21.3

  • Diagnosis

    • Periorbital: (a) ecchymosis, (b) oedema, and (c) occasionally subcutaneous emphysema.

    • Infraorbital nerve anaesthesia: (lower lid, cheek, side of nose, upper lip, upper teeth, gums) is common.

    • Mechanisms of diplopia: (a) restriction due to haemorrhage and oedema, (b) mechanical entrapment of extraocular muscle or adjacent connective tissue within the fracture, with diplopia typically occurring in both up- ( Fig. 21.4a ) and downgaze ( Fig. 21.4b ), and (c) direct injury to an extraocular muscle (negative forced duction test).

      Fig 21.4

    • Enophthalmos: in severe fracture.

    • Globe damage: uncommon but should be excluded.

    • CT: with coronal views for fracture evaluation ( Fig. 21.4c ).

    • Hess test: for monitoring diplopia.

  • Initial treatment

    • Oral antibiotics: no nose blowing because infected sinus contents may be forced into the orbit.

    • Ice packs and nasal decongestants: for swelling.

    • Systemic steroids: occasionally required for severe oedema, especially if there is optic nerve compromise.

  • Subsequent treatment

    • Aims: prevention of permanent diplopia and/or cosmetically unacceptable enophthalmos.

    • Surgery not required: (a) fractures involving up to one-third of the orbital floor, (b) little or no herniation, (c) no significant enophthalmos, and (d) improving diplopia.

    • Surgery within 2 weeks: (a) fractures with entrapment of orbital contents, (b) enophthalmos greater than 2 mm, and (c) significant diplopia.

    • Urgent surgery: (a) early marked enophthalmos, and (b) ‘white-eyed’ fracture subgroup with acute trap-door incarceration of herniated tissue. This requires urgent repair to avoid permanent neuromuscular damage; patients are typically younger than 18 years of age with little visible external soft tissue injury, and CT signs may be subtle.

    • Surgical technique: (a) transconjunctival or subciliary approach, (b) removal of entrapped orbital contents, and (c) defect is covered with a synthetic patch (e.g. silicone; Fig. 21.5 ).

      Fig 21.5

Trauma to the globe


  • Closed injury: commonly due to blunt trauma; the corneosclera is intact.

  • Open injury: full-thickness wound of the corneoscleral envelope.

  • Rupture: full-thickness wound caused by blunt trauma; the globe gives way at its weakest point, which may not be at the site of impact.

  • Laceration: full-thickness defect in the eye wall produced by a tearing injury, usually due to a direct impact.

  • Incised injury: caused by a sharp object such as glass or a knife.

  • Penetrating injury: single full-thickness wound, usually caused by a sharp object, without an exit wound; may be associated with an intraocular foreign body.

  • Perforating injury: full-thickness entry and exit wounds, usually caused by a missile.


  • Plain radiographs: may be taken when a foreign body is suspected.

  • CT: superior to plain radiographs in detection and localization of foreign bodies.

  • MR: more accurate than CT in assessment of the globe such as detection of an occult posterior rupture, although not for bony structures. MR should never be performed if a ferrous foreign body is suspected.

  • US: may identify an intraocular foreign body, globe rupture, suprachoroidal haemorrhage, and retinal detachment.

Blunt trauma

Jul 11, 2019 | Posted by in OPHTHALMOLOGY | Comments Off on Trauma
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