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22.02.2021 | Original Article

Maxillofacial fractures in females: a 5-year retrospective review

Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)
Akinsola Ogunbowale, Liam Costello, Deirdre McCormack, Kumara Ekanayake, Gerard J. Kearns



This retrospective study reviews the maxillofacial fractures (MF) over a 5-year period at the National Maxillofacial Unit, St James Hospital Dublin, with an emphasis on female patients.

Materials and methods

The trauma database was analysed from January 2015 to December 2019. The following demographic details were recorded: patient age and gender, mechanism of injury, and facial fracture sites. This retrospective study did not require approval from the local IRB.


A total of 4761 patients had facial fractures during the study: 1125 (24%) female, 3636, (76%) male. Females had 1190 facial fractures, with two fracture peaks: 20–39 years and 70–89 years. In males, the majority of fractures occurred between 20 and 39 peaking at 20–29 years and tailed off thereafter. In the females the most common fracture sites were zygomatic 402 (34%), nasal 311(26%), orbital (22%), and mandibular 141(12%). There were also smaller percentages of frontal (0.8%), maxillary (4%), and Le Fort fractures (1%). Two hundred and sixty-two (23%) females were managed surgically and 853 (77%) non-surgically.


This study confirms maxillofacial fractures are less common in females. The female age distribution demonstrates two peaks, one in early adult and a second in old age. This may be explained by females living longer and independently and at risk for falls. The most commonly reported fracture aetiology in females was “falls.” This raises concerns as to whether “falls” are used to explain an assault. There is an informal concern amongst maxillofacial surgeons that females presenting with facial trauma may be the victims of domestic violence, which may be denied by the victims.

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