Derrick Rose: Orbital Fracture Precautions

About Dr. Hootan Zandifar

Dr. Hootan Zandifar is board-certified in Otolaryngology and fellowship-trained in Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Zandifar is the director of the Skin Center at the Osborne Head and Neck Institute based at Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers.

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CHICAGO, October 6, 2015 – Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose suffered a left orbital fracture during practice earlier this week after taking an elbow to the face. He underwent successful repair surgery on September 30th. Team coach, Fred Hoiberg, stated that he expects Rose to be available to play in the season opener on October 27, 2015. Rose will be fitted for a mask upon his return to basketball activities.

Figure 1: Derrick Rose sustained an orbital fracture and will have to wear a protective mask (right) temporarily on his return to the NBA.
Figure 1: Derrick Rose sustained an orbital fracture and will have to wear a protective mask (right) temporarily on his return to the NBA.

Custom designed masks serve as a protective barrier from physical trauma to the orbital bones during healing. Once set into the correct position, it is important that the orbital bones do not move during healing. Even a subtle direct impact during a sporting activity could potentially lead to functional issues and disfigurement.

Evaluation and Treatment of Orbital Fractures

In all cases of facial trauma, timely evaluation is paramount to insure proper healing of injuries. Orbital trauma is especially time sensitive in preserving vision and eye movement. In most cases of orbital trauma, a CT scan should be ordered to evaluate for any fractures to the orbital walls or damage to the adjacent brain tissues. Usually the extent of underlying damage is not readily evident from superficial examination due to the effects of swelling. Sunken eyes, for example, will commonly not be evident for weeks until swelling has dissipated. In other cases, bone fragments can become lodged between the muscles responsible for moving the eyes, causing severe pain with movement.

There are several options for treatment of orbital fractures. In cases of minor fractures, if the patient does not have any apparent changes in vision or pain during eye movement, observation during healing is recommended and more advanced intervention is not required. Larger fractures in which the eye commonly appears to be sunken in or if pain is felt with movement, require more extensive techniques for treatment. In some cases, small and thin flexible endoscopes are introduced through the nasal sinus and repairs can be made to the orbital bones without leaving any visible external scars. In other cases, where trauma is more extensive, small incisions can be made under the eyelashes or to the inside of the eyelid in order to gain access to the orbital walls. Factors that can affect treatment choice include the location of the fracture, extent of the damage, changes in vision and pain with eye movement. In all cases, a facial trauma specialist can advise you as to a specific and detailed treatment plan for your specific injury.

Figure 2: CT image of the head depicting an orbital fracture (right) and normal orbit (left).
Figure 2: CT image of the head depicting an orbital fracture (right) and normal orbit (left).

Physicians at the Osborne Head and Neck Institute’s Facial Reconstructive Surgery Division specialize in facial trauma and facial sports injury. They are nationally renowned for their expertise in facial injury. The physicians hold dual certification in both otolaryngology/head & neck surgery and plastic & reconstructive surgery. This unique combination of specialties allows for a thorough evaluation and treatment of both functional and cosmetic issues related to facial trauma.

To learn more about Dr. Hootan Zandifar or facial trauma treatment, please visit:

Sports Injuries

  • Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russel Westbrook suffers a cheekbone fracture.
  • Miami Heat player LeBron James suffers a nasal fracture.
  • Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver suffers a nasal fracture.
  • New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith suffers a broken jaw.