Trends in the incidence and cause of sport-related mandibular fractures: a retrospective analysis

R Emshoff, H Schöning, G Röthler, E Waldhart
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 1997, 55 (6): 585-92

PURPOSE: This study assessed changes in the incidence and causes of mandibular fractures occurring in innsbruck, Austria between 1984 and 1993.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Records from 712 patients sustaining 982 mandibular fractures were reviewed and analyzed according to age, sex, date of fracture, place of trauma, cause, anatomic site of fracture, and associated orofacial and craniocerebral injuries.

RESULTS: Sports were the most common cause of mandibular fractures, accounting for 31.5% of the entire sample, followed by road traffic accidents (27.2%) and falls (20.8%). The yearly distribution of sport-related mandibular fractures showed an increase from 28.6% in 1984 to 1988 to 34.5% in 1989 to 1993. The major causative factor in sports-related mandibular fractures was skiing (55.3%), whereas cycling and soccer accounted for 25.4% and 8.9%, respectively. Significant changes in the occurrence of cycling-related mandibular fractures were observed, with an increase of 19.3% from 1984 to 1988 to 1989 to 1993, whereas skiing-related mandibular fractures showed a decrease of similar magnitude (19.5%). Sex distribution showed a male-to-female ratio of 2.5:1, with the percentage of females involved increasing. In cases of cycling-related accidents, there was a considerable prevalence of associated injuries (133.3 injuries per 100 mandibular fractures), with significantly higher rates of facial lacerations (73.2), tooth fractures (39), tooth luxations (24.4), and orbital fractures (3.7) than in the case of skiing-related injuries, whereas in patients sustaining mandibular fractures caused by soccer, mucosal lacerations, tooth luxations, and cerebral concussions were the only associated injuries found.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate a considerable change in the cause of mandibular fractures, showing that sporting injuries are becoming increasingly common. The high incidence of associated maxillofacial injuries in patients involved in skiing and cycling accidents may suggest an increasing need for preventive and protective measures.

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