[Skip to Navigation]
February 1994

Ocular Injury Secondary to Periorbital Use of Stainless-Steel Wire and Suture

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (Dr Yeatts); the Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario (Dr Harvey); the Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn (Dr Bartley); and Mountain Eye Associates, Clyde, NC (Dr Nerney).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(2):213-216. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090140089029

Objective:  To describe previously unreported ocular injuries from stainless-steel wire or suture used for facial skeletal or soft-tissue repair.

Participants:  Three patients who underwent orbital reconstruction (n=2) or ptosis repair with excision of the orbiculus oculi (n=1) were referred with signs and symptoms of ocular injury.

Interventions:  Removal of the wires and sutures.

Results:  Treatment resolved discomfort and irritation and diminished ocular motility, iritis, and bullous keratopathy but did not improve diminished vision in one of the patients.

Conclusions:  Occult ocular injury from misdirected or migrating stainless-steel wire should be considered in any case of ocular injury following orbital fracture or reconstructive repair when other disease processes are readily excluded. In these three cases, stainlesssteel wire or suture impinged against or impaled the globe. The use of rigid plate fixation for orbital reconstruction or otherwise placing all stainless-steel wires and sutures outside the confines of the orbit would avoid such ocular injury.

Add or change institution