Pediatric facial fractures: evolving patterns of treatment

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1993 Aug;51(8):836-44; discussion 844-5. doi: 10.1016/s0278-2391(10)80098-9.


This study reviews the treatment of facial trauma between October 1986 and December 1990 at a major pediatric referral center. The mechanism of injury, location and pattern of facial fractures, pattern of facial injury, soft tissue injuries, and any associated injuries to other organ systems were recorded, and fracture management and perioperative complications reviewed. The study population consisted of 137 patients who sustained 318 facial fractures. Eighty-one patients (171 fractures) were seen in the acute stage, and 56 patients (147 fractures) were seen for reconstruction of a secondary deformity. Injuries in boys were more prevalent than in girls (63% versus 37%), and the 6- to 12-year cohort made up the largest group (42%). Most fractures resulted from traffic-related accidents (50%), falls (23%), or sports-related injuries (15%). Mandibular (34%) and orbital fractures (23%) predominated; fewer midfacial fractures (7%) were sustained than would be expected in a similar adult population. Three quarters of the patients with acute fractures required operative intervention. Closed reduction techniques with maxillomandibular fixation were frequently chosen for mandibular condyle fractures and open reduction techniques (35%) for other regions of the facial skeleton. When open reduction was indicated, plate-and-screw fixation was the preferred method of stabilization (65%). The long-term effects of the injuries and the treatment given on facial growth remain undetermined. Perioperative complication rates directly related to the surgery were low.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adolescent
  • Bone Plates
  • Bone Screws
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation / methods*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal
  • Frontal Bone / injuries
  • Humans
  • Immobilization
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mandibular Condyle / injuries
  • Mandibular Fractures / therapy*
  • Maxillofacial Injuries / therapy*
  • Orbital Fractures / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull Fractures / therapy*
  • Zygomatic Fractures / therapy