Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and type of maxillofacial fractures caused by various sports played with a ball to better understand the nature of these fractures. Study design Retrospective study was carried out using records from 100 patients treated between 1986-2002. Age and sex, etiology, and site of the fracture, yearly and monthly distribution of the fractures, and treatment modality were analyzed.
Results: The fractures mostly resulted from baseball (44%), followed by rugby (28%) and soccer (18%). The highest incidence was in the 10- to 19-year age-group with male propensity. The most common cause of the fractures was impact against another player (43%). The majority of the patients suffered from mandibular fractures (56%), followed by midface (31%) and alveolar fractures (12%). Mandibular angle, zygoma, and zygomatic arch fractures were prominent for rugby fractures. A yearly comparison of the fracture incidence showed a gradual decrease over the 16-year period. Fractures had a peak incidence in autumn. 55% of the patients were treated surgically. Surgical intervention was mostly needed for patients sustaining fractures during soccer (72.2%).
Conclusions: Among ball-related sports, baseball is responsible for most of the maxillofacial fractures, but, although the incidence is not that high, soccer-related fractures may be more severe due to the nature of this sport.