Retin Cases Brief Rep. 2023 Jan 1;17(1):70-73. doi: 10.1097/ICB.0000000000001114.


Purpose: Traumatic optic neuropathy can have varying presentations. Blunt focal trauma can lead to optic nerve avulsion with underlying retinal findings. A case of partial optic nerve avulsion after finger poke injury leading to focal retinal ischemia is reported.

Methods: Visual acuity, fundus photography with fluorescein angiography, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography were performed to document the findings in a 16-year-old man who presented after a finger poke injury to the left orbit during a water polo match.

Results: On initial presentation, examination revealed decreased visual acuity with a fixed left pupil and afferent pupillary defect by reverse. On slit-lamp examination of the left eye, a hyphema was present. Dilated fundus examination revealed layering vitreous hemorrhage over the posterior pole and an avulsed vitreous base. On follow-up, a gap temporal to the optic nerve head consistent with a partial optic nerve avulsion was noted once the vitreous hemorrhage cleared. Multimodal imaging revealed retinal ischemia temporal to the disc on fluorescein angiography with corresponding changes in the inner retinal layers and retinal nerve fiber layer using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.

Conclusion: Clinicians should have a high suspicion for optic nerve avulsion if a patient presents with new vitreous hemorrhage and afferent pupillary defect after a finger-poke injury. Optic nerve avulsion injury can cause retinal ischemia, likely because of interruption of retinal blood flow as a result of nerve shearing injury. Multimodal imaging can reveal focal retinal injury and aid in proper diagnosis and follow-up.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Ischemia
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Optic Disk*
  • Optic Nerve Injuries* / diagnosis
  • Optic Nerve Injuries* / etiology
  • Pupil Disorders* / complications
  • Retinal Diseases* / complications
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Vitreous Hemorrhage / complications
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating* / complications
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating* / diagnosis