Aim: The purpose of this study was to analyze the patterns of facial fractures in children and to compare them between preschool- and school-aged children.
Materials and methods: This retrospective observational study included 57 children with facial fractures. The variables analyzed were the age of the patients—divided into a preschool-aged group (0–5 years) and a school-aged group (6–12 years)—gender, cause of trauma, the facial bones involved, the pattern of fracture, the modality of treatment used, the time between injury and treatment, and the postoperative complications.
Results: The incidence of facial fractures in children ≤12 years was 30.2%. The patients consisted of 40 (70.2%) males and 17 (29.8%) females, and most patients belonged to the school-aged group (n = 35, 61.4%). The most common cause of injury was falls. Mandibular fractures were the most common (54.2%), mostly involving the condylar region. Forty patients (70.2%) were treated surgically and 17 patients (29.8%) were managed conservatively. The variables that were significantly different between the two groups included the cause of injury, the site of injury, and the type of treatment.
Conclusion: Facial fractures occur most frequently in school-aged children with male predominance, falls are the most common cause of facial fractures in children, the incidence of mandibular fractures is high and the condyle is the most affected site, the surgical treatment is indicated in most of the older age groups, and no major complications were encountered.
Clinical significance: Facial fractures in children require special considerations in their management due to many characteristic features of the facial skeleton of the growing child and the possibility of growth disturbances that may result from these injuries, the incidence of facial fractures in children increases with the beginning of school and their treatment in school-aged children tends to be surgical rather than conservative.
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