Le Fort I fractures may result from a blow to the upper jaw in a downward direction. It is also known as a floating palate’. The fracture extends from the nasal septum and extends horizontally above the teeth in the upper jaw.
Symptoms: (in common with Le Fort III) Slight swelling of the upper lip, bruising in the cheek fold, teeth don’t fit together, mobility of teeth/upper jaw. Fractures may be almost immobile and it is only by grasping the maxillary teeth and applying a little firm pressure that a characteristic grate can be felt which is diagnostic of the fracture (Better leave this to the ER-doctor)
Le Fort II fractures may result from a blow to the lower or mid maxilla (upper jaw). It extends from the nasal bridge through the bottom of the eye socket and then down towards the rear of the upper jaw.
Symptoms: Lefort II and Lefort III (common) swelling of soft tissue over the middle third of the face, bruising around eyes (racoon eyes), bleeding in the white of the eyes, nosebleed, leaking cerebrospinal fluid from nose, mobile upper jaw, “dish face” deformity (flattened face, see picture above), and double vision.
Le Fort III fractures start at the nasal bridge, goes through the eye socket, the outer eye rim and the cheek bone. This type of fracture predisposes the patient to CSF leaking more commonly than the other types.
Symptoms: Lengthening of face, sunken-in eyes, charachteristic flattened face (see picture).
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