Eye Injuries and Eye Socket Fracture

Also known as: fracture of the orbit, orbital fracture.

What is an eye socket fracture?

The eye socket (or orbit) is the bony opening/cup in the skull that both protects and surrounds the eye. If one or more bones surrounding the eye is broken (fractured) it's known as an eye socket or orbital fracture.

What causes eye socket fracture? 

Fractures of the eye socket rim are frequently caused by direct impact to the face, often by the dashboard or steering wheel of car during a car crash. When this occurs other injuries to the eye, the sinuses around the eye, tear duct and brain may also occur. A fracture of the floor bone (“blow out fracture”) can occur when the eye is hit by an object larger than the eye socket like a baseball or fist.  Sometimes the orbital rim fracture extends into the floor of the eye socket (“direct orbital floor fracture”).  This frequently happens not only in car crashes but also during contact sports, assaults, or while doing home repair projects where the blunt object may be a hammer, or piece of lumber or other object.

What are the symptoms of eye socket fracture? 

Symptoms vary depending on the location and severity of the fracture. Common symptoms include; a “black eye”, double or blurry or decreased vision, pain, swelling, facial deformities (a flattened cheek), numbness of the forehead eyelids and upper lip, and air under the skin near the eye.

What are eye socket fracture care options? 

Minor fractures can heal on their own with ice packs to the face, rest, pain relievers and an antibiotic may be prescribed to prevent infection. Vision problems frequently resolve without treatment. Surgery may be required for severe fractures particularly if the involve the eye.

Upcoming Events

Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) Family Conference

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital invites you to attend a conference designed to provide individuals with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) and their family’s up-to-date information about the possible aspects of BWS and their management. 

Learn more and register

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:13:30 PM

Chad Perlyn, MD is a pediatric plastic surgeon and Co-Director of the operating room at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

From the Newsdesk

Nicklaus Children’s Opens Subspecialty Care Center in Boynton Beach
11/07/2017 — The Boynton Beach Care Center is the newest Nicklaus Children’s care location and offers a range of services for children from birth through 21 years of age.
Harper's Success Story
08/31/2017 — When Harper was diagnosed with Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome shortly after birth, her family knew they wanted the best team possible for her tongue reduction surgery. Harper now leads a limitless life thanks to Dr. Chad Perlyn, an expert in treating macroglossia, and the Craniofacial Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.