Le Fort fractures are fractures of the midface, which collectively involve separation of all or a portion of the maxilla from the skull base. The classification system attempts to distinguish Le Fort according to the plane of injury.
Fracture of the pterygoid plates is common to all Le Fort fractures.
The commonly used classification is as follows:
- horizontal maxillary fracture, separating the teeth from the upper face.
- fracture line passes through the alveolar ridge, lateral nose and inferior wall of maxillary sinus.
- pyramidal fracture, with the teeth at the pyramid base, and nasofrontal suture at its apex
- fracture arch passes through posterior alveolar ridge, lateral walls of maxillary sinuses, inferior orbital rim and nasal bones.
- craniofacial disjunction
- fracture line passes through nasofrontal suture, maxillo-frontal suture, orbital wall and zygomatic arch.
- if the anterolateral margins of the nasal fossa are intact it excludes a type 1 fracture.
- if the infraorbital rims are intact it excludes a type 2 fracture.
- if the zygomatic arch is intact it excludes a type 3 fracture.
Named after Rene Le Fort : French surgeon (1869 - 1951). Legend has it le Fort did his work by dropping cannon balls on cadaver heads and then dissecting the results.
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- 1. Dähnert W. Radiology review manual. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2007) ISBN:0781738954. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Rhea JT, Novelline RA. How to simplify the CT diagnosis of Le Fort fractures. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2005;184 (5): 1700-5. AJR Am J Roentgenol (full text) - Pubmed citation
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