Eye Socket Fracture (Orbit Fracture)

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You have had an eye socket (orbit) fracture repaired.  Please follow these home care instructions during the first week before you return for your first follow-up visit.  Should you at anytime have questions regarding these instructions or concerns about your condition please call your doctor.


You are experiencing swelling of the eye tissues.  This is to be expected.  The swelling will peak by the third day after surgery.  You can minimize swelling by applying ice-cold compresses to the eye.  You can also minimize swelling by keeping your head elevated after surgery.  You should sleep with your head elevated on two pillows for at least three (3) nights after your surgery.  Notify our office if you experience a sudden increase in swelling.


Pain after eye socket surgery is to be expected.  You have been provided with a prescription for pain medication.  Take this medication every 3-4 hours as needed for pain.  If you experience a sudden increase in pain you must contact our office immediately. It is best to take pain medication with a small snack or following a meal to avoid stomach upset. Do not operate a motor vehicle or machinery (lawn mower, etc.) while taking the pain medication. Notify the clinic if you are experiencing pain that is not improving 3-5 days after surgery. Prescription pain medication has the potential to be addictive. Only take the medication to control significant post operative pain. If you have medication remaining after your pain has resolved please take any unused medication to the police station and they will dispose of the medication responsibly for you. Never leave unused medication in your medicine cabinet at home.


Some blurring of the vision is normal after eye socket surgery.  This blurring is caused by swelling and/or ointment that you may be using in the eye.  Your vision should clear with resolution of swelling.  You should contact our office for any sudden worsening or other change in your vision.  You may also experience some double vision.  This also usually improves as swelling resolves.


You may experience some bloody drainage from your nose after eye socket surgery.  This is nothing to be alarmed about.  However, if you experience bright red nasal bleeding that does not stop with 10 minutes of ice application and head elevation you should call our office.


Infection involving the eye, socket or sinus is not common after repair of an eye socket fracture. Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction and notify our office. Otherwise, please finish your entire course of antibiotic. Antibiotics can sometimes cause an upset stomach. If this is the case, it is advisable to take acidophilus or pro-biotic tablets along with your antibiotic. Call our office if you have any questions.

Women taking oral contraceptives: Antibiotics that you have received for your surgery may make your oral contraceptive less effective. You should use an alternate form of birth control until your normal menstrual cycle.


Your diet is limited only to the extent of other injuries that you may have and/or your recovery from the general anesthetic.  If your trauma surgeon has not restricted your diet, and you are not having any nausea following the general anesthetic, you may resume a regular diet.  If you are having any nausea following the general anesthetic, your diet should be limited to clear liquids for approximately 24 hours.


You are to avoid straining and heavy lifting for at least one (1) week from the time of your eye socket surgery.  Do not lift more than 10-15 pounds during the first week.  Do not blow your nose for at least 14 days after surgery.  When sneezing during the first week sneeze with the mouth open to avoid applying pressure to the sinuses.  Generally, you should plan on being away from work/school for the week following your eye socket surgery.  Do not drive or operate any machinery if you are having any double vision.


Do not smoke for at least 7-10 days after eye socket surgery.  Smoking will increase the risk of sinus infection and will compromise the healing process.  You are more likely to have complications from the lower eye lid incision if you smoke after your surgery.


It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have any questions or concerns about your progress please call the office . We are available 24 hours a day.  If you experience an abrupt increase in swelling, pain, and/or blurring of the vision you are to contact our office immediately.

Thank you for trusting us with your oral and maxillofacial surgery needs.

Reproduced with permission by: Samuel J. McKenna, D.D.S., M.D., F.A.C.S

Any other use or duplication of this material by any other party requires the prior written approval of Samuel J. McKenna.