A Le Fort I fracture is a horizontal fracture of the upper jawbone, just above the roots of the upper teeth. Effectively, a Le Fort I fracture separates the dental arch from the orbit (eye socket), cheekbone and sinuses. Other names for a Le Fort I fracture are a:
- Floating palate fracture
- Guerin fracture
- Horizontal maxillary fracture
- Horizontal Le Fort fracture
- LeFort I fracture.
Along with the Le Fort II fracture (pyramidal fracture) and Le Fort III fracture (transverse fracture), the Le Fort I fracture is one of three classic types of mid-facial fractures originally described by the French surgeon Dr. Rene Le Fort in the early 20th century.
Le Fort Fracture Signs and Symptoms
A Le Fort I fracture is diagnosed based upon a nasal and intraoral examination, x-ray of the head and neck, and usually a CT scan. If the victim has other life-threatening injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, airway obstruction injury, or spinal cord injury, those should be addressed first. Along with determining the type of fracture, doctors will also check for nerve and vascular damage near the injury. Mid-facial Le Fort fractures are also associated with other facial fractures, including cheekbone fractures,nasal fractures and jawbone fractures. Possible symptoms of a Le Fort I fracture to look for include:
- Swelling in the upper lip
- Pain (at injury site and headache)
- Blurred vision
- Nasal obstruction.
Depending on the severity of the fracture, surgery may be necessary to repair a horizontal Le Fort fracture. Some depressed fractures may require some type of open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery or other surgical procedures.
Causes of Horizontal Le Fort Fractures
The most common cause of a mid-facial injury is a direct blow to the face either from something striking the face, or the face coming into contact with the ground or another object (such as a steering wheel or dashboard in a car accident). Some common causes include being punched in the face, automobile accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other accidents involving injury to the face due to negligent supervision or use of dangerous products.
Compensation for Le Fort I Fracture Injuries
The California personal injury attorneys at Estey & Bomberger have successfully handled numerous facial fracture injury claims over the years. We understand that Le Fort I fractures are painful injuries that may permanently alter your physical appearance and enjoyment of normal daily activities. Activities such as eating and talking may be difficult and painful, and you may not be able to work during the recovery process. If you have suffered a Le Fort I fracture or any other facial fracture or broken bone, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the party responsible for your injuries. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, call the law firm of Estey & Bomberger at (800)925-0723.