Facial fractures from dog bite injuries

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002 Apr 1;109(4):1259-65. doi: 10.1097/00006534-200204010-00008.


Dog bites are commonly associated with soft-tissue injury to the face but rarely result in facial fractures. This article reports six new cases of facial fractures associated with dog bites and reviews additional cases reported in the literature. The demographics of the patients attacked, the location of facial fractures, and the characteristics of associated soft-tissue injuries or complications developing from the dog bite are described. With six new cases and 10 from the literature, this article reviewed a total of 16 cases involving 27 facial fractures. Eighty-seven percent of the cases involved children less than 16 years of age. The periorbital or nasal bones were involved in 69 percent of the cases. Lacerations were the most frequently associated soft-tissue injury. Additional injuries included facial nerve damage, lacrimal duct damage requiring stenting and reconstruction, ptosis from levator transection, and blood loss requiring transfusion. Although facial fractures are not commonly considered to be associated with dog bite injuries, the index of suspicion for a fracture should be raised when the injury occurs in a child, particularly when injury occurs near the orbit, nose, and cheek.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bites and Stings / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dogs*
  • Facial Bones / injuries*
  • Facial Bones / surgery
  • Facial Nerve Injuries / etiology
  • Facial Nerve Injuries / surgery
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / injuries
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / surgery
  • Male
  • Maxillary Fractures / surgery
  • Nasal Bone / injuries
  • Orbital Fractures / etiology
  • Orbital Fractures / surgery
  • Zygoma / injuries