Facial injury in sport

Paul Reehal
Current Sports Medicine Reports 2010, 9 (1): 27-34
Sports are a common cause of facial injury. A wide variety of facial injuries occurs during sports. Severity of these injuries varies greatly. Understanding the diagnosis and treatment of these injuries is important to those participating in the health care of the athlete. Injuries that may threaten the airway or vision or cause bleeding are particularly crucial to understand. Dental injuries such as tooth fracture and tooth avulsion may need to be treated urgently in many cases. Facial lacerations may damage underlying structures, including the lacrimal system, facial nerve, or parotid duct. Closure of facial lacerations involves several considerations, such as cosmesis, method of wound closure, and complexity of the wound. Facial fractures occur commonly in sports, and familiarity with the various types and levels of severity is of key importance. Return-to-play guidelines after facial injury have yet to be established. Use of protective equipment can prevent facial injuries and protect athletes when returning to play after facial injury has occurred.

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