Management of Pediatric Nasoorbitoethmoid Complex Fractures at a Level 1 Trauma Center

Margaret M. Luthringer, Nicholas C. Oleck, Thayer J. Mukherjee, Jordan N. Halsey, Mark S. Granick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: A universally accepted treatment algorithm for rare pediatric nasoorbitoethmoid (NOE) fractures has yet to be established. In this study, the authors examine how severity of pediatric NOE fractures interplays with patient characteristics, management choices, and complications from injury and surgical intervention at our institution. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed for all cases of pediatric NOE fracture at a level 1 trauma center (University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey) between 2002 and 2014. Results: Fifteen of 1922 patients met our inclusion criteria. Ten (66.7%) demonstrated Markowitz type I injuries, 2 (13.3%) had type II NOEs, and 3 (20%) sustained type III fractures. Five (33.3%) of our patients were only monitored. Six (40.0%) were treated with plate fixation. One patient (6.7%) required enucleation alone, while 1 (6.7%) warranted enucleation with medial canthoplasty and plate fixation. Transnasal canthopexy was performed for 1 patient (6.7%). Zero patients managed without surgery had complications at 1-year follow-up. Surgical intervention was associated with complications in 4 of 15 patients. Both nonoperative treatment and plate fixation were associated with a higher rate of complications from initial injury or subsequent therapy when than other mentioned forms of treatment (P =.004). Conclusion: Nonoperative management for nondisplaced fractures is associated with zero complications at 1-year follow-up in our data; plate fixation and watchful waiting yield significantly fewer postoperative complications and injury sequelae than surgical intervention for medial canthal tendon and globe injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1675-1679
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • head/neck
  • pediatric surgery
  • plastic surgery
  • trauma
  • trauma acute care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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