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Outcomes of orbital blowout fracture surgery in children and adolescents
  1. Stuart C Carroll1,
  2. Stephen G J Ng2
  1. 1Eye Clinic, Greenlane Clinical Centre, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2Eye Department, Waikato District Health Board, Hamilton, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stephen GJ Ng, Eye Department, Waikato Public Hospital, Waikato District Health Board, Pembroke Street, Private Bag 3200, Hamilton, New Zealand; ngstep{at}


Background/aim To describe the features and outcomes of orbital blowout fracture surgery in children and adolescents <20 years old.

Methods Retrospective chart review of consecutive patients undergoing orbital blowout fracture surgery at a tertiary referral hospital.

Results A single surgeon performed all surgeries between October 2000 and April 2008. All patients had symptoms and signs of orbital soft tissue entrapment and radiographical evidence of orbital blowout fractures involving the orbital floor and/or medial wall. The characteristics and outcomes of 19 consecutive patients undergoing surgery are presented. The median delay from injury to surgery was 7 (range 0–113) days, with 13 cases having late surgery (>72 h post-injury). The median follow-up was 2 months. Two patients had follow-up of less than 1 week. One patient required subsequent strabismus surgery. Of the remaining 16 patients, none had significant diplopia postoperatively. There was a trend to longer recovery times with increasing delay to surgery.

Conclusion Previous series suggest that significant delays between injury and surgery lead to poorer outcomes in young patients with orbital blowout fractures. The data from this series show that despite delays, excellent outcomes can be obtained.

  • Blowout fracture
  • child health (paediatrics), orbit
  • paediatric
  • surgery
  • trauma
  • treatment surgery

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Northern Y Regional Ethics Committee, Ministry of Health, New Zealand.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.