Ratio of simple versus comminuted lateral wall fractures of the orbit Journal Article uri icon


  • Reduction of a fracture may be relatively easy with a simple, noncomminuted fracture along the zygomaticofrontal suture, zygomaticomaxillary buttress, or the inferior rim of the orbit. When one or more of these key landmarks is comminuted, it becomes more important to confirm that the fracture commonly seen between the greater wing of the sphenoid and the zygoma is properly repositioned. The zygomaticosphenoidal suture is an excellent landmark with a simple lateral orbital wall fracture (LOWF), but it may not be reliable in patients with a comminuted fracture. The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency that the lateral orbital wall (LOW) is a reliable landmark in the reduction of a zygoma fracture by determining the ratio between simple versus comminuted LOWF. To identify 100 patients with a LOWF, the authors reviewed consecutive midface computed tomography images of 877 patients performed over a 25-month period from one of our city's primary Level I trauma and teaching hospitals. A total of 121 LOWF were identified in 100 patients. In 60.3% of cases the facture was a simple, noncomminuted LOWF. In 39.7% of cases the fracture was comminuted (p = 0.023). Simple LOWF are significantly more common than comminuted fractures. In 39.7% of fractures the LOW is comminuted. This suggests that there are many fractures in which other modalities may be much more important to use to confirm the proper reduction of the zygoma.

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publication date

  • 2013