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Maxillofacial injuries, also referred to as facial trauma, encompass any injury to the mouth, face and jaw. Most maxillofacial injuries are caused by sports accidents, motor vehicle accidents,on-the-job accidents, acts of violence or an accident in the home.


Dr. Shelbourne holds privileges at Roper, St. Francis, and East Cooper Regional Medical Center. These hospitals depend on us to provide their patients with emergency care for their facial injuries. Dr. Shelbourne is highly trained in the area of repair and reconstruction following facial trauma.

Seek medical attention immediately following facial trauma. Symptoms of facial trauma include:

  • Changes in sensation and feeling over the face
  • Deformed or uneven face or facial bones
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose due to swelling and bleeding
  • Double vision
  • Missing teeth
  • Swelling around the eyes that may cause vision problems


What Kinds of Treatment Can I Expect When Facial Trauma Occurs?

Maxillofacial fractures can involve the lower jaw, upper jaw, palate, cheekbones, eye sockets and combinations of these bones. These injuries can affect sight and the ability to breathe, speak and swallow.

Similar to a broken arm or leg, the parts of the bone must be lined up and held in position long enough to permit them time to heal. Treatment often requires hospitalization and may require a healing process of six or more weeks depending on the patient’s age and the fracture’s complexity.

Often, patients who sustain facial fractures have other medical problems as well. Our oral and maxillofacial staff works as a team with other physicians to provide the best treatment for our patients.


What to Expect During Your Recovery

The length of your recovery will depend on the complexity of facial trauma. For some patients, the healing process may require that the jaw be wired shut in which case the oral and maxillofacial surgeon will prescribe a nutritional liquid or pureed diet. This will help the healing process by keeping the patient in good health while minimizing jaw movement. Detailed post-operative instructions are provided to our patients.