Management of frontal sinus fractures. Changing concepts

Clin Plast Surg. 1992 Jan;19(1):219-32.


Since the turn of the century, surgeons have handled frontal sinus fractures with a variety of different procedures. The optimal management procedure remains controversial. We have presented a graduated anatomic algorithm for treatment of frontal sinus fractures based on the degree of fracture displacement and nasofrontal duct involvement and presence of CSF leak. Nondisplaced fractures are best handled conservatively, without operative intervention. However, the majority of frontal sinus fractures require operative correction. Uncomplicated anterior table displacement with an aesthetic deformity is treated by fragment reduction and stabilization with miniplates or microplates or wires. Nasofrontal duct obstruction is usually managed by sinus obliteration with spontaneous osteoneogenesis or autologous bone grafting. Finally, comminuted, displaced anterior and posterior table fractures, especially those with persistent CSF leakage and associated nasofrontal duct involvement, are best handled with frontal sinus cranialization. The presented algorithm is simply a treatment guideline. Frontal sinus fracture management must be individualized. However, this graduated anatomic approach provides a pragmatic framework for decision making and understanding this complex and controversial topic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Transplantation
  • Clinical Protocols / standards
  • Decision Trees
  • Female
  • Frontal Sinus / anatomy & histology
  • Frontal Sinus / embryology
  • Frontal Sinus / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Examination
  • Skull Fractures / diagnosis
  • Skull Fractures / pathology
  • Skull Fractures / surgery*
  • Surgery, Plastic / methods*
  • Surgery, Plastic / standards
  • Surgery, Plastic / trends
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed