[Conservative therapy frequently indicated in blow-out fractures of the orbit]

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 1991 Jul 6;135(27):1226-8.
[Article in Dutch]


The results of the conservative approach in the management of patients with orbital blow-out fractures were studied at the Orbital Centre, Amsterdam. In 54 out of 111 patients with a pure blow-out fracture, high resolution CT was performed. In these 54 patients with diplopia, clinical examination together with the analysis of direct multiplanar high resolution CT revealed four cases of impaired motility. These were oedema, oculomotor nerve palsy, enophthalmos and adhesions around the lower eye muscles and the orbital floor. Patients were immediately instructed to exercise eye movements thoroughly. If diplopia did not resolve, further management was decided on. In all patients with edema or oculomotor nerve palsy, diplopia resolved spontaneously. Surgery was necessary to reduce diplopia in the enophthalmos and adhesion groups. This study shows that eye movement exercises together with a 'wait and see' approach diminish the number of operations by 50% in patients with pure blow-out fractures. It also circumvents the iatrogenic adhesions between eye muscles and orbital floor, which are difficult to treat.

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diplopia / etiology
  • Edema / etiology
  • Enophthalmos / etiology
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmoplegia / etiology
  • Orbital Fractures / complications
  • Orbital Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbital Fractures / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed