A one-year review of maxillofacial sports injuries treated at an accident and emergency department

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      To assess the aetiology and demand for oral and maxillofacial surgery services associated with sports injuries, a prospective study was undertaken. Data were collected from consecutive patients (with maxillofacial injuries associated with sports) attending the accident and emergency department at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary in the UK during a 12-month period and analysed. Data relating to demography, aetiology, site and extent of injury, treatment and outcome were collected. There were 790 attendances (695M: 85F) arising principally from injuries related to rugby (n = 206), cycling (n = 189) and football (n = 109) but few from recognized contact sports (n = 26). The principal causes of these injuries were direct bodily contact (n = 260) and falls (n = 219). The commonest injury was soft-tissue laceration (n = 604); 80 patients had dentoalveolar fractures and 64 patients had fractures of the facial skeleton. Injuries were located in the upper- (n = 257), middle- (n = 201) and lower third of the face (n = 124) with 188 lip/intraoral injuries. Repair of lacerations (n = 600) was the commonest treatment; only 46 fractures required interventive treatment. Follow-up was performed for most of these patients at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Dental Hospital (n = 404) and general medical/dental practitioners (n = 258). These data highlight the importance of oral and maxillofacial surgery staff in the management of sports injuries in accident and emergency departments. Moreover, they suggest the need for prioritization of rule and legislation changes and the continuing need to improve safety standards to prevent maxillofacial injuries.
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