Category Archives: Sports Related Facial Trauma

Nine Ways To Play It Safe In Sports

bigstock American football game 64444489 Nine Ways To Play It Safe In SportsThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that nearly 30 million school-aged youths play organized sports each year.

According to www.health.gov, participating in sports delivers myriad health, social, academic and even employment benefits. These advantages don’t come without some risk, however. More than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year. High school-age athletes add 2 million injuries – half a  million of them requiring doctor visits and 30,000 requiring hospital stays. The CDC says more than half of these injuries are preventable. Facial trauma is one category of injury. Maxillofacial injuries include any injury to the mouth, face and jaw.

Recently, an increased level of concern has generated a groundswell of action among parents and youth sports organizations to take every possible precaution when it comes to protecting young athletes from concussion, fractures, overuse injuries, and muscle or ligament tears and sprains.  With cooperation among coaches, officials, parents and young athletes themselves, strategies for safe play can be developed and implemented. Continue reading

Prevention of Sports-Related Facial Trauma

bigstock Lacrosse eye on the ball 19218077 Prevention of Sports Related Facial TraumaSports-related maxillofacial trauma is prevalent in the United States. Common injuries include teeth being knocked out, facial bone fractures and dislocations of the jaw.  Repair and restoration after injury occurs is extremely important, but the prevention of mishaps should be paramount. Ongoing research and engineering has driven the successful creation and availability of protective facial devices worn while recovering from an injury and even before an injury occurs. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) has generated a list of sport-specific guidelines found at the end of this post.

Data shows that before the use of football helmets with facemasks became standard operating procedure around 1960, 50% of football injuries involved the facial or dental regions. With the use of helmets the rate has dropped to less than 2%. Similar results have been observed in ice hockey. Helmets alone protect the head but do little to guard against injury to the vulnerable middle and lower facial area.  Cyclers and skiers fare better when donning gear that includes an extension to amp up protection of the lower face including the jaw and mouth.

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