Research Article|Articles in Press

Quantitative analysis of diplopia following orbital fracture repair

Published:January 31, 2023DOI:


      Orbital fractures can result in devastating functional complications to sight and well-being, yet our understanding of functional sequelae post reconstruction is not well understood in the literature. This research retrospectively analysed the activity of a specialist orbital surgeon over five years to evaluate the incidence of, and risk factors for, debilitating complications such as diplopia and restriction of extraocular movement. Orbital fracture cases repaired between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2019 were retrospectively analysed. Demographics, orthoptic assessment, injury classification, timing, operative details, outcomes, and complications were recorded. Preoperative and postoperative binocular single vision scores (BSV) were recorded to calculate the effect of orbital repair on residual diplopia. Of 582 patients undergoing orbital access, 472 cases of orbital wall reconstruction satisfied the inclusion criteria, of which 162 (34%) were Jaquiéry 4 or 5. Overall, 10.6% had complications, 4.9% had diplopia, and 5.7% were returned to theatre. All those with residual diplopia had had it preoperatively, and had evidence of an improvement in BSV score. Time to surgery, material, and pure orbital fractures had a significant impact on the incidence of diplopia. Defect size did not. Whilst complication rates were low we conclude that strict adherence to a defined surgical protocol, postoperative imaging, and objective assessment of postoperative function are central to maintaining these standards. Objective orthoptic analysis of patients before and after orbital repair is critical to our understanding of this pathology. Whilst preoperative prediction of the persistence of long-term diplopia currently eludes us, further research should target it.


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