Objectives: To estimate from 2D and 3D-CT the anatomical defects that are most likely to be responsible for posttraumatic enophthalmos.
Materials and methods: The morphology and dimensions of the orbit and of fat content were investigated in 25 patients 6-12 months after treatment for complex orbital fractures by image analysis and volumetric estimation from 2D and 3D-CT.
Results: The shape of orbit was very often changed from conical to more rounded due to enlargement of the posterior segment. The retrobulbar fat appeared fragmented and dislocated posteriorly. No changes were observed in the structural appearance or radiodensity of either the orbital fat or muscles. There was reduced sagittal eye projection, increased width of the orbital rim, downward dislocation of the posteromedial orbital floor, and increased volume in the posttraumatic orbits which was significantly different (P < 0.05). Enophthalmos was correlated with orbital volume and height of the retrobulbar portion of the orbit. The volume of fat did not correlate with enophthalmos.
Conclusions: Posttraumatic enophthalmos appears to be more commonly related to failure in correcting the orbital volume and in reducing the outward dislocation of the posterior orbital floor and not to changes in the fat content.