Purpose: To determine factors associated with the presence of significant ocular injury in subjects with orbital fractures.
Subjects: A consecutive prospective cohort of 161 patients presenting to a general tertiary referral hospital with orbital fractures and undergoing initial conservative treatment was identified. Subjects were assessed at time of injury for the need for emergency surgery, and those initially treated conservatively were subsequently followed up by the Ophthalmology Department to assess for ocular injury requiring ophthalmic management at 1–7 days after injury. Associations between ocular injury and age, sex, visual acuity, presence of blowout fracture, extent of orbital involvement, and presence of distant facial fractures were assessed.
Results: 142 male (average age of 32 [95% CI 30–35]) and 19 female (average age of 49 [95% CI 39–59]) subjects were identified. 17 subjects were diagnosed with significant ocular injury. Ocular injury was significantly associated with LogMAR VA worse than 0.2 (OR 49 [95% CI 11–217, < 0.0001]), but no relationship was noted for age, sex, presence of blowout fracture, extent of fractures, or presence of distal facial fractures. LogMAR visual acuity worse than or equal to 0.2 had a 98% negative predictive value for ocular injury in the setting of orbital fractures.
Conclusions: Demographic and nonophthalmic fracture characteristics were not useful predictors of ocular injury in orbital fractures. LogMAR visual acuity worse than or equal to 0.2 is a highly sensitive and useful guide of the need for ophthalmic referral in subjects with orbital fractures.