Terrance Jones of the Rockets: Repeated eyelid lacerations and its implications
Contact sports such as basketball can cause trauma to the face. One of the things that can happen is a laceration or cut to the eyelid. Why is this a big deal? The problem is that the eyelid is not just skin alone but also has function namely blinking over the eye. In patients with an eyelid laceration it is possible that the eyelid may not blink on the eye surface properly and distorting the vision.
What is the way a laceration of the eyelid repaired?
An eyelid laceration is repaired in a very simple way. Essentially as an oculoplastic surgeon, I numb the eyelid with numbing medicine and then place sutures in the eyelid to close the skin and deeper tissue that is there. The stitches then stay there for 10 days and are removed.
Why did Terrance Jones get a second laceration of the eyelid?
When a cut heals, the wound is actually weaker than normal tissue. If there is traction on the eyelid, that scar tissue can easily tear. A person who has had trauma with a torn eyelid is at a higher risk for further tear if there is trauma to the eyelid. The normal scar tissue takes up to 1 year to fully heal and even when it does it is at 90% of its initial strength.
Are there other risks from a lacerated eyelid?
Yes, if the laceration is near the tear duct which is near the corner of the eyelid near the nose, the player can tear if the tear duct is not repaired. Even if it is repaired, the tear duct may not be able to be properly repaired at the same time. Tearing can be quite disabling and as a result,
a patient can have watery eyes indefinitely if it is not fixed.
When will Terrance Jones most likely be able to make it back in your opinion as an oculoplastic surgeon?
Usually after two weeks, an eyelid can heal and the stitches can come out. That is usually the time that patients are allowed to resume normal activities.