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January 02, 2015

Senator Harry Reid Suffers Facial Fractures

Senator Harry Reid was reported to have suffered facial fractures (and rib fractures) from a fall due to a malfunction in an exercise machine he was using at home Jan 1, 2015. Although details are sparse, he was apparently admitted overnight for observation and released Jan 2, 2015.

He is expected to return to work as planned on Jan 6, 2015.

In the vast majority of cases, most facial fractures do NOT require surgical repair. As such, Mr. Reid most likely will not require any surgical intervention and the facial features should heal without any sequelae.

With any facial or nasal fractures, the key elements that lead towards a decision for surgery are the following (not all-inclusive, but general pointers):

- Any functional deficit including inability to open and close the jaw.
- Change in your occlusion (the way your teeth come together).
- Double vision (blurry vision does not count).
- Cosmetic deformity due to facial fracture (bruising and swelling does not count).
- Change in your ability to breath.

The two main specialties able to assess whether surgery is required or not is ENT and Plastic Surgery as well as some oral surgeons.

Sources:
Sen. Harry Reid Suffers Broken Ribs, Facial Bones. ABC News 1/2/15

Sen. Harry Reid breaks ribs, facial bones in exercising accident. The Week 1/2/15
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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