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Maxillofacial Trauma


Overview :

Maxillofacial trauma includes injuries to any of the bony or fleshy structures of the face.

Any part of the face may be affected. Teeth may be knocked out or loosened. The eyes and their muscles, nerves, and blood vessels may be injured as well as the eye socket (orbit), which can be fractured by a forceful blow. The lower jaw (mandible) may be dislocated by force. Although anchored by strong muscles for chewing, the jaw is unstable in comparison with other bones and is easily dislocated from the temporomandibular joints that attach it to the skull. A fractured nose or jaw may affect the ability to breathe or eat. Any maxillofacial trauma may also prevent the passage of air or be severe enough to cause a concussion or more serious brain injury.

Athletes are particularly at risk of maxillofacial injuries. Boxers suffer repeated blows to the face and occasional knockouts (traumatic brain injury). Football, basketball, hockey, and soccer players, and many other athletes are at risk for milder forms of brain injury called concussions. There are an estimated 300,000 cases every year. Overall, there are one million new traumatic brain injuries every year, causing 50,000 deaths. Of the rest, 7-9% are left with long-term disability.

Burns to the face are also categorized as maxillofacial trauma.




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