December 16, 2013

Bengals Punter Kevin Huber Suffers Jaw Fracture During Game

Courtesy of Jeffrey Beall from Wikipedia
This past weekend, Cincinnati Bengals punter Mark Huber suffered a broken jaw when he was viciously knocked to the ground by Steelers Terence Gavin who lead the tackle with his helmet. [link]

Given bleeding from the mouth, there is the possibility of an open fracture extending into the mouth, though it could also be from a self-inflected bite when Huber got hit.

Unlike most facial fractures that do NOT require any surgical intervention, most jaw fractures do need to be surgically repaired and typically entail wiring the jaw shut. Often, a metal plate with screws will be utilized to stabilize the fracture as well.

The reason the jaw is wired shut is so that as the broken bone heals, it heals in such a way that the way the teeth comes together is normal (in essence, the teeth act as the cast for the jaw fracture). Of course, eating is limited to liquid diet and dental care is important as brushing the teeth thoroughly will be impossible.

Also, it is easier to precisely place the metal plates after the jaw is wired shut. In Huber's case, metal plates will almost certainly be utilized as it allows for faster healing, sooner removal of jaw wiring, and quicker return to normalcy.

The wires holding the jaw shut can be removed after a few weeks, but exact duration depends on the fracture location and severity.

With this type of facial fracture, it will be unclear when exactly he will be able to return play.

SEE IT: Bengals punter Kevin Huber fractures jaw after taking hit from Steelers' Terence Gavin. NY Daily News 12/15/13

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.

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