Post traumatic orbital emphysema

Case contributed by Dr Nikos Karapasias


18 years old male with sudden and painless onset of left periorbital swelling and nose-bleed following forceful blowing of the nose. He felt like the skin around his eye "puffed out". The patient recalls blowing his nose to evacuate blood after facial trauma during kick boxing training.

Patient Data

Age: 18
Gender: Male

Air density around the left superior orbital margin, suggestive of orbital emphysema. The black eyebrow sign is shown.

Fracture of the left medial orbital wall, a small herniation of orbital fat through the fracture, and orbital emphysema.

Case Discussion

Orbital emphysema is a benign self limiting condition and typically results from forceful entry of air into the orbital soft tissue spaces following an orbital fracture. No treatment is required unless there are associated visual symptoms.

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Case information

rID: 25645
Published: 1st Nov 2013
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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