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Medicina dello Sport 2009 December;62(4):481-91


language: English, Italian

Winter and summer mountain sports and facial trauma

Perottino F. 1, Lebeau J. 2, Briccarello G. 3, Hajdarevic A. 3, Dumas G. 1

1 Otolaryngology and Stomatology, des Escartons Regional Hospital Center, Briançon, France 2 Maxillofacial and Plastic Surgery, Michallon University Hospital, Grenoble, France 3 Sports Medicine Institute, Turin, Italy


Aim. This article is a critic revision of patients with facial trauma admitted in a Ear Nose Throat and Maxillo-Facial Department in a mountain touristic city with the aim of investigating the role of winter and summer mountains sports and the distribution of maxillo-facial and facial accidents.
Methods. Between 2002 and 2006 a total of 740 patients with maxillo-facial injuries were identified, 240 were eligible for this study: 42 practiced cross-country biking in summer, 198 practiced ski and other winter sports. The study focused on the various types of lesions encountered and their sport-specificity on bones and soft tissues, on the associated cervical and head trauma, on the recovery time and the geographic origin of patients.
Results. Forty-eight percent of patients underwent surgery; victims were usually young male (median age=33 years) with soft tissues lesions: lacerations, abrasions, contusions, lost of soft tissues, tatoo lesions, important bleedings with emergency recovery and treatment. Face fractures were found in 25% of patients, often in the inferior part of the face if accident occurred during mountain biking and of the mid-face and upper third of the face during winter sports. Medium recovery time was three days. Most of the patients were tourists and practioners/inexperts.
Conclusion. Mountain sport accidents can cause sport-linked typical face injury patterns. Mountain bike accidents seems to be decreasing in the last years but the number of severe facial trauma reported in winter sports and interesting head and cervical trauma, is growing.

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