A paradigm shift in correcting medial orbital fracture-related enophthalmos: Volumetric augmentation through a lateral approach

Colton H. McNichols, Daniel A. Hatef, James F. Thornton, Patrick D. Cole, C. Alejandra Garcia De Mitchell, Larry H. Hollier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Posttraumatic enophthalmos resulting from medial orbital wall fractures presents a complex challenge. Access to this area through traditional incisions is limited, making visualization of the fracture site difficult. This can be ameliorated by the transcaruncular approach, but with the potential for complications both with access and with reconstructive materials. The authors sought a new technique where enophthalmos correction would be based on augmenting soft tissue volume, rather than reducing the volume of the bony orbital cone. This was successfully accomplished using porous high-density polyethylene wedges. In an effort to increase overall knowledge of this technique, a retrospective review was undertaken. Methods: A retrospective chart review was undertaken to examine the senior authors' (J.F.T. and L.H.H.) experience using a lateral approach to address medial orbital fracture-related enophthalmos, aided by porous high-density polyethylene wedges to increase orbital volume. The relevant literature was reviewed and reported here. Results: Three patients with post-medial orbital wall fracture enophthalmos were treated using a lateral approach to place porous high-density polyethylene wedges; this technique adequately corrected enophthalmos in these patients. Conclusions: Porous high-density polyethylene wedges can be placed into the orbit through a small lateral incision to reverse enophthalmos secondary to loss of volume after medial orbital wall fractures. Current techniques for orbital reconstruction typically focus on reduction of bony volume; this technique focuses on augmentation of soft tissue volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)762-766
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Orbital fracture
  • enophthalmos
  • medial orbital wall fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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