The optimal management of frontal sinus fractures remains controversial, and previously accepted indications for surgical intervention are being challenged. The goals of this study were to determine how frontal sinus fracture management has changed at a single institution across multiple disciplines and to evaluate the long-term outcomes of operative and nonoperative treatment modalities.Patients treated for a frontal sinus fracture at Stanford Hospital and Clinics between June 1998 and June 2009 were included in the study. Inpatient records, clinic notes, operative reports, and radiographic studies were reviewed. The patients were invited for a follow-up clinic visit, physical examination, and focused sinus computed tomography. For a period of 11 years, 124 patients were treated for a frontal sinus fracture by physicians from 3 surgical subspecialties: otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and neurosurgery. A low short-term complication rate was observed (5.6%), and there was a trend toward nonsurgical management within the study population. Ten patients returned for a long-term follow-up. Of these, the 2 patients who underwent cranialization experienced as many or more long-term complications compared with the patients treated by other modalities. These complications included abnormal frontal bone contour with bony discontinuity and altered sensation in the distribution of the trigeminal nerve.The demonstrated trend toward nonsurgical management of frontal sinus fractures seems to be safe. In the limited group of patients who returned for follow-up, more long-term complications were observed in the patients who underwent cranialization. However, a larger long-term follow-up cohort will be necessary to elucidate the relationship between treatment modality and long-term outcomes and complications.
View details for DOI 10.1097/SCS.0000000000001105
View details for Web of Science ID 000345012000054