A study published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery led by Dr. Lorelei Grunwaldt and colleagues in Pittsburgh at the Children’s Hospital looked at around 167 kids treated for a fracture due to a sports injury.
About 11% of the fractures to the face were due to some type of sports injury. About four out of five kids treated for a facial fracture were boys. The majority of patients were between the age of 12 and 15 years. Many of these facial injuries which included:
- Broken noses
- Fractures to the eye area
- Fractures to the skull, happened as a result of a ball-related trauma.
Typically baseballs or softballs caused this type of dramatic trauma. Most commonly the kids experienced a baseball injury or one from softball while fielding some type of line drive. Other sports leading to facial fractures included basketball, football and soccer.
In sporting activities like soccer, collisions between players were more likely to cause facial injuries rather than ball strikes. Facial injuries were also sometimes incurred by skateboarders or those engaged in horseback riding.
While less common, when facial fractures did occur during these sporting activities, the injuries tended to be much more severe. The authors in this study concluded with recommendations for further analysis of facial protection equipment during play, especially for kids playing baseball and softball. Learn more about this important research about facial fractures from ball games.