The effect of light-emitting diode (590/830 nm)-based low-level laser therapy on posttraumatic edema of facial bone fracture patients

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2017 Nov;45(11):1875-1877. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2017.08.027. Epub 2017 Sep 2.


Purpose: Posttraumatic edema in facial bone fracture patients may interfere with the operation field and delay the schedule. Thus, swiftly reducing the edema alleviates patient discomfort and advances the operation date. Ice packing and compression bandages are often used for such a purpose, but such methods are often inconvenient for the face. In this study, we aim to analyze the effect of light-emitting diode (LED) (590/830 nm)-based low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in posttraumatic edema in facial bone fracture patients.

Materials and methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of 40 patients who were admitted to a single institution for facial bone fracture. The patients were divided into two groups of 20 each, treated either with LLLT or with sham treatment light. We used an LLLT device that consists of planar LED-based arrays with double wavelengths 590 nm and 830 nm. The patients were treated with either true or sham light from posttraumatic day 1-5, twice a day. After each treatment, the volume of a patient's face was measured with a 3-dimensional camera. We analyzed and compared the changes in facial edema. The Wilcoxon rank sum test was conducted for statistical comparison of the two groups, and significance was set to the level of p < 0.05.

Results: The sex ratio and mean age of the two groups were of little difference. The fracture sites included the nasal bone, orbital wall, zygomaticomaxillary bone, mandible, and frontal sinus. Mechanisms of injury included fall, assault, traffic accident, sports, and gunshot. The total operation rate of both groups was equal to 85%. Our analysis showed a 16.5% reduction of edema in the LLLT group and 7.3% in the sham light group. The edema reduction was statistically significantly greater in the LLLT group than in the sham light group (p < 0.047).

Conclusion: LED-based LLLT is recently receiving attention worldwide for its cost-effectiveness and large coverage area compared to traditional laser therapy. Recent studies support its effectiveness in various areas such as wound healing, skin rejuvenation, and pain alleviation. In this study, we treated facial bone fracture patients with LED-based LLLT, and showed its effectiveness in reducing posttraumatic edema.

Keywords: Edema; Laser; Trauma.

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Edema / etiology
  • Edema / radiotherapy*
  • Facial Bones / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / economics
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skull Fractures / complications*