Severe subcutaneous emphysema following orbital blowout fracture.

Mark Lucarelli // Publications // Nov 01 2005

PubMed ID: 16304532

Author(s): Reeves DL, Lucarelli MJ, Rose JG Jr. Severe subcutaneous emphysema following orbital blowout fracture. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2005 Nov;21(6):465-7. PMID 16304532

Journal: Ophthalmic Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, Volume 21, Issue 6, Nov 2005

A 19-year-old man sustained a blowout fracture to the left orbital floor. Subcutaneous emphysema developed after a protracted sneezing episode. Some signs of respiratory distress ensued, and the patient was emergently intubated. He underwent surgical repair of the fracture and then had further extension of the subcutaneous emphysema. The left nasal cavity was packed and the emphysema slowly resolved. Clinically significant subcutaneous emphysema is an uncommon complication of orbital blowout fracture. Informing the patient to avoid excessive nose-blowing and to avoid occluding the nose while sneezing may prevent this complication.