Background: The objective was to evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQoL) before and after surgical treatment of zygomatic complex fracture and assess patients' perceptions of the aesthetic and functional outcomes of surgery.
Material and methods: A prospective study of 79 adult patients before and after surgery for zygomatic complex fracture was conducted. HRQoL was measured using the generic 15-dimensional (15D) instrument, and patient satisfaction was assessed by an additional questionnaire.
Results: The mean preoperative 15D score for patients was lower than for general population that was matched for age and gender (p=0.011). The mean 15D score was lowest on the first postoperative day (p<0.001) when patients were worse off for 6 of the 15 dimensions of the HRQoL instrument and better off for three dimensions. However, patients achieved, and even exceeded, the mean 15D score of the general population during the first month following surgery. Infraorbital sensory loss at the end of the six-month follow-up appeared to be the single most important factor that plagued the patients.
Conclusions: HRQoL is significantly reduced after trauma but improves a few weeks after surgery. Infraorbital nerve sensory loss is a notable long-term factor that affects patients after zygomatic complex fracture.