NYMC Faculty Publications

Characteristics and Patterns of Facial Fractures in the Elderly Population in the United States Based on Trauma Quality Improvement Project Data

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The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

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With the increase in the elderly population in the United States, the number of people seeking care for trauma injuries is expected to increase. However, nationwide studies on epidemiological profile of elderly facial fractures remain sparse. The authors present the epidemiological measures of elderly facial fractures on national scale. Characteristics of facial fractures among younger adults (18-64 years old) and the elderly population (65-74 years old, 75-84 years old and 85 years and above) have been examined using the 2016 American College of Surgeons-Trauma Quality Improvement Program databank. Variables studied included facial fracture patterns, mechanisms of injury, treatment variables, and demographic descriptive data. Of 104,183 elderly trauma patients, 3415 presented with facial fractures, making up 3.3% (versus 6.5% in younger adults). Majority of facial fractures in 85 and over group (60.7%) were experienced by females, compared to only 19.5% in the younger adult group. Most common mechanism of injury in the elderly was falls, versus motor vehicle trauma in younger adults. The most common type of facial fractures among both groups were nasal fractures. Elderly patients presented with fewer zygoma, mandibular and nasal fractures when compared to younger adults, whereas showing more maxillary/malar and orbital bone fractures. Elderly patients experienced less operative management (4.3%-8.2%) compared to younger adults (15.6%). Concurrently, mortality rates were higher in the elderly patients (9.9%-11.8%) when compared to the younger adults (8.0%). Elderly patients presented with different causes of injury, distribution of fractures, and rates of operative management compared to younger adults.