Background: Soccer is the most popular sport in Brazil and a high incidence of related trauma is reported. Maxillofacial trauma can be quite common, sometimes requiring prolonged hospitalization and invasive procedures. To characterize soccer-related facial fractures needing surgery in 2 major Brazilian Centers.
Methods: A retrospective review of trauma medical records from the Plastic Surgery Divisions at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo–Escola Paulista de Medicina and the Hospital das Clinicas–Universidade de São Paulo was carried out to identify patients who underwent invasive surgical procedures due to acute soccer-related facial fractures. Data points reviewed included gender, date of injury, type of fracture, date of surgery, and procedure performed.
Results: A total of 45 patients (31 from Escola Paulista de Medicina and 14 from Universidade de São Paulo) underwent surgical procedures to address facial fractures between March 2000 and September 2013. Forty-four patients were men, and mean age was 28 years. The fracture patterns seen were nasal bones (16 patients, 35%), orbitozygomatic (16 patients, 35%), mandibular (7 patients, 16%), orbital (6 patients, 13%), frontal (1 patient, 2%), and naso-orbito-ethmoid (1 patient, 2%). Mechanisms of injury included collisions with another player (n = 39) and being struck by the ball (n = 6).
Conclusions: Although it is less common than orthopedic injuries, soccer players do sustain maxillofacial trauma. Knowledge of its frequency is important to first responders, nurses, and physicians who have initial contact with patients. Missed diagnosis or delayed treatment can lead to facial deformities and functional problems in the physiological actions of breathing, vision, and chewing.