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Multiple facial fractures - what happens without surgery


Registered User
Jul 30, 2014
My Dad had a serious fall last night, falling down 8 steps landing face first.
He has multiple facial fractures, Le Fort 3. He is in intensive care, they managed to get a breathing tube into him without having to do a tracheotemy. His face is just one massive swelling, black and blue.

He is 83 with moderate to severe alzheimers. We wouldn't want him to go through serious sergury, which would involve metal plates being srewed in and jaw being wired together.

Has anyone experienced this who can give me any information and advice?
Thank you


Registered User
Dec 7, 2013
Buffalo, NY, USA
My goodness, how horrible! You must be beside yourself.

I would also want to resist surgery. Discuss your concerns honestly with all medical personnel. Could he be assessed for palliative care?


Registered User
Aug 25, 2015
South coast of England
Goodness, poor Dad! And poor you too, it must be so distressing to see your dad so badly hurt.

If fractures are not surgically stabilised they will heal gradually. The problem with facial injuries is that they cannot be immobilised in plaster like limb fractures can. It might be difficult to keep the fractures in a good position, especially if dad does not remember that he has a problem.

However, I absolutely understand your concern as anaesthetics are known to worsen dementia (sometimes things improve afterwards, sometimes they don't :( ). All you can do is talk things over frankly with the medics who are caring for your dad. Do you have LPA for his Health and Welfare?


Registered User
Jun 27, 2012
The question is will he be able to eat and breathe without fixing then with metals? Idk. If nothing is done In some weeks the pain is gone and bone healed (however not joined with other pieces). So his face may not be functional.

My mum had an collarbone broken (and not fixed because she removed plaster every time). And she had a femur broken ( fixed with metal, so she would have a better quality of life).

If you are afraid of anaesthesia, talk to the doctor who will perform it. (I've never noticed a permanent decrease on mum's due to it).


Registered User
Jul 30, 2014
Thank you for your comments.

We have decided to stop all medical treatment, the doctor was in total agreement. so now just morphine and something to keep him calm, and now we are waiting for him to pass on, and for his suffering to be over.

The waiting is hard.
Bless him.


Registered User
Apr 5, 2010
Considering he has a Le Fort 3 which has to be fixed then you had very little choice. I believe you have made the right decision for him. I hope that he is pain free. Thinking of you.

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
Saucepan, I fear I have nothing to add, except to send you good wishes. Will be thinking of you, your father, and your family.


Registered User
Jul 30, 2014
Thank you all so much for your kind words.
Dad died on sunday morning.
He wasn't in any pain at the end and is in peace now.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
My condolences, saucepan
so sad to lose your dad
I hope it is a comfort to you that he was pain free
may he rest in peace
and may you find peace now
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Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
West Midlands
So Sorry for your loss. For it to happen this way, so suddenly, because of his accident must be hard for you. My heart goes out to you xxx


Registered User
Feb 29, 2016
So sorry saucepan. At least your dad has found peace and I hope that you and your family stay strong during this horrific time. Xxx