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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2009 Sep;67(9):1878-83. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2009.04.117.

Interpersonal violence and facial fractures.

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Maxillofacial and Dental Department, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand.



Interpersonal violence is a major health hazard that contributes to the high volume of trauma seen in the emergency department. It is also one of the principal causes of maxillofacial fractures.


The present study was a retrospective analysis of patients referred to, and treated at, the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Unit at Christchurch Hospital during an 11-year period (1996 to 2006). The variables examined included patient demographics, fracture types, mode of injury, and treatment delivered.


An increase was found in the number of fractures due to interpersonal violence in the second half of the study, although the proportion remained the same. The age of the patients ranged from 9 to 89 years (mean 28). The male-to-female ratio was 9:1. Of the patients, 87% had alcohol involvement. The mandible was the most common site of fracture, followed by the zygoma. Other midface fractures, including Le Fort fractures, were less frequently observed. Of the patients, 59% were hospitalized and 56% required surgery, with internal fixation necessary in 41% of patients.


An increase occurred in the number of facial fractures associated with interpersonal violence during the study period. Young male adults were the most affected demographic group, with alcohol a main contributing factor. Violence-related facial fracture is a health hazard that deserves more public awareness and implementation of preventive programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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