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Cyrus Kerawala

and Carrie Newlands

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date: 15 July 2020

Maxillofacial trauma can affect any part of the face and frequently occurs in conjunction with ophthalmic and neurosurgical injuries. Over the last 40 years there has been a change in the aetiology of this form of trauma in the UK. Prior to seatbelt legislation there were large numbers of high-energy road traffic accidents with drivers and passengers sustaining injuries from unrestrained impacts on dashboards or windscreens. Such injuries are now rare. Unfortunately, at the same time as road traffic injuries have reduced, there has been an increase in injuries as a result of interpersonal violence. This pattern of injury is mirrored in most of Western Europe and North America. In some parts of the world, e.g. Asia, road traffic injuries still predominate. The other major historical change in the management of facial trauma has been the development of internal fixation, which was popularized in the 1980s with the introduction of titanium miniplates. At the time of publication there is a plethora of internal fixation devices available for craniomaxillofacial trauma. The limit on a surgeon’s ability to correct fractures is no longer the devices available, but the ability to adequately expose the fracture sites and the healthcare system to absorb the costs of the devices used.

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