Inferior turbinate fracture in the treatment of congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction and congenital nasolacrimal duct anomaly

Ophthalmic Surg. 1985 Jun;16(6):368-71.


A group of 52 pediatric patients with lacrimal obstruction were considered to be high risk since they had been previously probed (27 patients) or were older (average age 23 months). At the time of probe and irrigation, a small, straight hemostat was placed into the nose to grasp the inferior turbinate and rotate it a full 90 degrees inward. All cases of congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (49) resolved following this maneuver. A small muscle hook with the tip directed upward was placed underneath the inferior turbinate to identify three patients with congenital nasolacrimal duct anomaly (absence or atresia of the nasolacrimal duct) who would not have benefitted from further probings and responded to dacryocystorhinostomy. Even though the results of our uncontrolled surgical trial cannot be compared to other treatment methods, the data suggest that even very difficult cases of congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction will respond to a simple turbinate fracture with a hemostat without the necessity of complicated tubes or stents. A small muscle hook can be used to identify those rare cases of congenital nasolacrimal duct anomaly who may require specialized procedures such as dacryocystorhinostomy or inferior turbinectomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hemostatic Techniques
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lacrimal Apparatus* / abnormalities
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction / congenital
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction / therapy*
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic*
  • Nasolacrimal Duct* / abnormalities
  • Skull Fractures*
  • Turbinates / injuries*