Scientific article
Open access

Reflections on a patient-centered approach to treatment of blow-out fractures: Why the wisdom of the pastmust guide our decision-making

ContributorsScolozzi, Paolo
Published inJournal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery, vol. 75, no. 7, p. 2268-2276
Publication date2022-07
First online date2022-04-25

The management of blow-out orbital fractures (BOFs) continues to be controversial and regularly questioned. In recent years, treatment decision-making has shifted from a clinically dominated emphasis to a more objective data-based approach. This has come about through the refinement of imaging technologies that can more precisely define the fracture itself. Decision-making is now mainly driven by computed tomography (CT) parameters among which the fracture's size is by far the most often used. The variability in a patient's clinical presentation and outcomes for similar types of BOFs raises serious doubts about the pertinence of applying standardized guidelines based on quantitative data for the treatment of individual patients. An approach that fails to include patient variability and relies too heavily on average objective results with an emphasis on the application of quantitative rather than qualitative methods can lead to poor patient outcomes. A review of the knowledge accumulated over the many years of treatment of BOFs has demonstrated that despite the exceptional imaging-based technologies available, clinical acumen remains the most sophisticated decision-assistive tool. Thus, the treatment of BOFs must be regarded as a patient rather than merely a geometrical imaging issue. Imaging then becomes a valuable diagnostic rather than a final decision-making tool. This more conservative approach leads to a substantial decrease in indications for surgical repair.

  • Blow-out fractures
  • CT scan
  • Decision-making
  • Ocular motility
  • Ophthalmological outcome
  • Personalized medicine
  • Surgical repair
Citation (ISO format)
SCOLOZZI, Paolo. Reflections on a patient-centered approach to treatment of blow-out fractures: Why the wisdom of the pastmust guide our decision-making. In: Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery, 2022, vol. 75, n° 7, p. 2268–2276. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2022.04.034
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1748-6815

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