Tennis-related adult maxillofacial trauma injuries

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Objectives: Tennis participation continues to increase amongst adults across the United States. The purpose of this study was to analyze trends in adult tennis-related facial injury epidemiology, demographics, diagnoses, and locations of injury.

Materials and methods: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was evaluated for tennis-related facial injuries in adults from 2009 through 2018. Number of injuries were extrapolated, and data were analyzed for age, sex, specific injury diagnoses, locations, and discharge disposition. Descriptive statistics were used to present and describe variables of interest. Chi-squared testing (χ2) was performed to compare categorical variables.

Results: During the study period, 342 tennis-related facial trauma ED visits were analyzed. Lacerations were the most common injury (45%), followed by contusions or abrasions (33.3%), concussions (11.7%), and fractures (8.5%). The most common sites of injury were the face (47.4%) and head (27.2%) regions. Males accounted for 62.0% of injuries, while females accounted for the remaining 38.0%. Patients between 34-65 years-old accounted for 47.7% of all injuries, and athletes over 65 years-old had the highest rate of fractures (10.1%).

Conclusions: Facial trauma incurred secondary to tennis may follow patient-specific patterns. The incidence of tennis-related facial trauma is smaller compared to other sports, but the severity of such injuries remain a danger. Facial protection and enforcement in tennis is virtually absent, and these findings strengthen the need to educate athletes, families, and physicians on injury awareness and prevention.


This article was published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2020 Taylor & Francis.

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The Physician and Sportsmedicine

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