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J Korean Soc Traumatol. 2006 Dec;19(2):150-158. Korean. Original Article.
Lee SW , Cho SJ , Ryu SY , Lee SL , Kim SE , Kim SJ , Ahn JY .
Department of Emergency Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Korea. csj1026@sanggyepaik.ac.kr
Department of Preventive Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Korea.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract

PURPOSE: There are two theories about the relationships between facial fractures and cranial injuries. One is that facial bones act as a protective cushion for the brain, and the other is that facial fractures are the marker for increased risk of cranial injury. They have been debated on for many years. The purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between facial fractures and cranial injuries. METHODS: A retrospective study was performed on 242 patients with facial fractures. The data were analyzed based on the medical records of the patients: age, gender, cause of injury, Injury Severity Score (ISS), alcohol intake, type of facial fractures, and type of cranial injury. The patients were divided into two groups: facial fractures with cranial injury and facial fractures without cranial injury. We compared the general characteristics between the two groups and evaluated the relationship between each type of facial fracture and each type of cranial injury. RESULTS: Among the 242 patients with facial bone fractures, 96 (39.7%) patients had a combination of facial fractures and cranial injuries. Gender predilection was demonstrated to favor males: the ratio was 3:1. The mean age was 36.51+/-19.63. As to the injury mechanism, traffic accidents (in car, out of car, motorcycle) were statistically significant in the group of facial fractures with cranial injury (p=0.038, p=0.000, p=0.003). The ISS was significant, but alcohol intake was not significant. No significant relationship between facial fractures and skull fractures was found. Only maxilla fractures, zygoma fractures, and cerebral concussion had a significant difference in cranial injury (p=0.039, p=0.025). CONCLUSION: There is a no correlation between facial fractures and skull fractures, which suggests that the cushion effect is the predominent relationship between facial fractures and cranial injuries.

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