Executive Editor: Daniel Buchbinder General Editor: Daniel Buchbinder

Authors: S Fusetti, B Hammer, R Kellman, C Matula, EB Strong, Co-author: A Di Ieva

Skull base & Cranial vault - Frontal sinus, frontal recess

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Glossary

General considerations

The frontal sinus is located centrally at the anterior skull base. The frontal recess constitutes the only outflow tract for the sinus. Fractures of the floor of the sinus will often disrupt sinus outflow and must be addressed.

Regardless of anterior or posterior table injuries, fractures that obstruct sinus drainage will require either:

  • Observation
  • Endoscopic frontal sinosotomy when indicated
  • Sinus obliteration.
Obliteration
Main indication Skill Equipment
Any frontal sinus fracture resulting in nasofrontal recess injury. Highly experienced and skilled surgeon Simple surgical and imaging resources
Observation (and when indicated frontal sinus endoscopy)
Main indication Skill Equipment
Anterior table fractures involving the sinus floor with questionable nasofrontal recess injury. Highly experienced and skilled surgeon Full specialized surgical and imaging resources

Special note:

Careful follow up and patient compliance is essential. The patient should be educated as to what symptoms to look for and a follow up scan should be obtained within 6 weeks to 3 months. 

*Skill
Basic surgical experience, no specialized skills Basic surgical experience, no specialized skills
Some specialized surgical experience Some specialized surgical experience
Highly experienced and skilled surgeon Highly experienced and skilled surgeon
*Equipment
Basic equipment only Basic equipment only
Simple surgical and imaging resources Simple surgical and imaging resources
Full specialized surgical and imaging resources Full specialized surgical and imaging resources

v1.0 2011-05-14