Maxillofacial injuries associated with domestic violence

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2001 Nov;59(11):1277-83; discussion 1283-4. doi: 10.1053/joms.2001.27490.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to report the incidence, causes, and patterns of maxillofacial injury associated with domestic violence.

Patients and methods: A retrospective review of patients treated for domestic violence injuries at an inner-city hospital over a 5-year period was done, and data were collected on type and location of injury, mechanism of injury, alcohol involvement, and treatment.

Results: The sample consisted of 236 emergency room admissions. The majority (81%) of victims presented with maxillofacial injuries. The fist was a favorite means for assaults (67%). The middle third of the face was most commonly involved (69%). Soft tissue injuries were the most common type of injury (61%). Facial fractures were present in 30% of victims. The average number of mandible fractures per patient was 1.32. The majority of facial fractures (40%) were nasal fractures. Left-sided facial injuries were more common than right sided.

Conclusions: These data confirm that most victims of domestic violence sustain maxillofacial injuries. Midface injuries predominate. The preponderance of facial injuries makes it very likely that oral and maxillofacial surgeons will be involved in the care of these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Contusions / etiology
  • Domestic Violence*
  • Facial Injuries / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lacerations / etiology
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull Fractures / etiology
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / etiology
  • Wounds, Penetrating / etiology