Chapter Summary

The management of facial injuries requires a standard systematic approach for assessment and treatment.

In the sporting environment, patients with facial injuries are usually able to protect their own airway, but there are circumstances where this may not be the case.

It is vitally important to complete a facial assessment in a controlled organized manner. In this way both soft and hard tissues will be examined, including all structures and the nasal and oral cavities.

An important message in the management of facial soft tissue injuries is to clean the wound of all debris (under local anaesthesia if this is required for good access), irrigate any contaminated wound thoroughly and through correct management, to facilitate optimal healing with minimal aesthetic or functional deficit, and repair of damaged tissues with minimal scarring.

In managing hard tissue injuries, a systematic examination is essential to look for facial asymmetry, inspect for bruising, swelling, lacerations, missing tissue, foreign bodies, haematomas or bleeding.

In all cases if you are unsure of the diagnosis and/or the appropriate treatment, refer to a specialist, usually by referral through the nearest Emergency Department.