AIM : To determine the prevalence, aetiological factors
and demographic data of patients presenting with injuries
sustained from maxillofacial trauma over a six month
period at Zithulele Hospital.
MATERIALS AND METHODS : In a retrospective, descriptive
study, data collected and analysed included records of
all patients who had suffered maxillofacial trauma, their
demographics, clinical features and the aetiology. The
radiographic records were assessed by a maxillofacial
surgeon and a radiologist for a diagnosis as well as gaining
opinions regarding the types of fractures observed.
RESULTS : A total of 239 patients sustained maxillofacial
trauma. The most common aetiological factor was
interpersonal violence (55%) followed by road traffic accidents
(16%), falls (10%), animals (4%) and other causes (2%). The
male to female ratio was 2.6:1 and the 18-24 years age group
endured the most trauma. A total of 210 (88%) patients
sustained soft tissue injuries while 29 (12%) experienced
hard tissue injuries, with 39 fractures diagnosed. A total of
165 maxillofacial radiographs were assessed, 37% were
diagnostically acceptable, 56% had poor diagnostic value
and 7% had no diagnostic value.
CONCLUSION : Maxillofacial trauma is prevalent in rural parts
of South Africa. Males aged 18-24 years are frequent victims,
with interpersonal violence being the major aetiology.