What is an orbital fracture?
An orbital fracture is a traumatic injury to the bone of the eye socket. These injuries are usually the result of blunt force trauma to the eye.
There are three main types of orbital fractures that can occur:
Orbital rim fractures occur in the bony outer edges of the eye socket. The rim is the thickest part of the socket, so rim fractures require a great deal of force to occur. Car accidents are a primary cause of orbital rim fractures. Because of this, many other injuries are often sustained at the same time, including facial trauma and optic nerve damage.
Blowout fractures occur when the rim stays intact, but a crack forms in the wafer-thin bone that makes up the floor of the eye socket. The crack on the floor can pinch the eye muscles and nearby anatomy, preventing the eyeball from moving freely within the eye socket. These fractures are usually caused by an object larger than the eye-opening, such as a baseball.
Direct orbital floor fractures are rim fractures that have extended into the floor.