Facial trauma in children and adolescents
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Most studies on facial trauma in the pediatric age group focus on special subgroups. This investigation encompasses all traumatic facial injuries, minor and major, of children and adolescents. Epidemiological data of the type and pattern of injury of trauma patients less than 19 years of age, treated during a 3-year-period in a large metropolitan trauma centre were reevaluated. Of the 1385 patients, 68% had soft tissue injuries, 24% had dental trauma, and 8% fractures of facial bones. More than 90% suffered from minimal or minor trauma. The leading cause of injury was a fall, predominantly at the toddler stage. In adolescents an adult mechanism of trauma prevailed: over 60% of injuries were sequelae of an assault or altercation. The male sex predominated through all age groups and for all types of injuries. The bulk of soft tissue injuries are located within a small falling zone, extending from the nose to the mental area. There was a rising incidence of fractures of facial bones towards older age groups, mandibular fractures being the most common. Condylar fractures, with their potential impact on further growth of the mandible, are seen frequently in children and adolescents, making up 80% of the fractures of the lower jaw.
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