Characteristics and Epidemiology of Zygomaticomaxillary Complex Fractures : Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Original Articles

Characteristics and Epidemiology of Zygomaticomaxillary Complex Fractures

Bogusiak, Katarzyna MD; Arkuszewski, Piotr MD, PhD

Author Information
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 21(4):p 1018-1023, July 2010. | DOI: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e3181e62e47



The aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics, namely, cause, type, site of fracture, and epidemiology data, of zygomaticomaxillary complex (ZMC) fractures.

Materials and Methods: 

Hospital records and computed tomographic scans of 468 patients, treated for ZMC fractures at the Department of Craniomaxillofacial and Oncological Surgery between January 1990 and December 1995 and between January 2000 and December 2007, were selected and analyzed according to several factors including age, sex, cause, type, site of fracture, alcohol use before injury treatment modalities, complications, and mean treatment delay.


A total of 468 patients (400 males and 68 females; male-to-female ratio, 5.88:1) were included in this study. Their ages ranged from 15 to 85 years (mean ± SD age, 37.1 ± 14.83 y). Type B, by Zingg classification, was the most common type of ZMC fractures and accounted for 73.1% of cases. Assaults (64.5%), traffic accidents (13.9%), falls (13.0%), sports accidents (5.8%), and work accidents (2.8%) were noted. More than one-third of all the patients experienced injury after alcohol consumption. Of these patients, 96.6% were treated surgically. The most favored technique was miniplate osteosynthesis. The complication rate associated with the inaccurate reduction of the fractures was the most common. In this group of complications, minor asymmetry was the most common and occurred in 35 patients. Mean treatment delay was 42.7 hours. It ranged from 0.25 to 1080 hours, and the lowest value was observed in work accidents (2.7 hours).


Facial trauma can result in fractures limited to 1 component of the tetrapod structure but more commonly results in a tetrapod fracture involving all 4 buttresses.

Males are the most common victims of ZMC fractures, and assault remains the major cause of ZMC injuries in Poland, like in most developed countries. Alcohol involvement among trauma patients is high, especially in case of assaults and falls. Each patient with ZMC fracture should be evaluated individually.

© 2010 Mutaz B. Habal, MD

You can read the full text of this article if you:

Access through Ovid