Rugby-related adult maxillofacial trauma injuries: a NEISS database study

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PURPOSE: The primary objective of this study is to delineate the data on maxillofacial trauma in rugby utilizing the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database. Specifically, we want to establish the prevalence of facial rugby injuries in terms of age, mechanism of injury, and degree of injury in order to develop ways to limit facial trauma in the future.

METHODS: The NEISS database was accessed in February 2020 in order to identify adult patients (> 19 years of age) presenting to the emergence department (ED) for rugby-related head and facial injuries from the previous 10 years (2009-2018). Descriptive statistics were organized and presented. Chi-squared testing (χ

RESULTS: A total of 507 patients (national estimate = 18,952) from 2009 to 2018 were identified as appropriate for study inclusion. The most common injuries were those to the facial region including the eyelid, eye area, and nose (59.4%). The most frequently encountered facial fracture while playing rugby was the nasal bone (58.6%). Overall, 98.4% of patients who presented to the ED with rugby injuries were treated and released, 1.2% were admitted or observed, and 0.4% left against medical advice.

CONCLUSIONS: When evaluating a patient with a rugby-related injury, one should expect injuries to the eyelid, eye area, or nose. The most common fracture pattern will most likely be nasal bone. Despite these injuries, the vast majority of patients will be treated and released.


This article was published in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

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