Defining Population-Specific Craniofacial Fracture Patterns and Resource Use in Geriatric Patients: A Comparative Study of Blunt Craniofacial Fractures in Geriatric versus Nongeriatric Adult Patients

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This study investigates the hypothesis that mechanisms of injury, fracture patterns, and burden to the health care system differ between geriatric and nongeriatric populations sustaining blunt-force craniofacial trauma.


A 5-year retrospective chart review of patient records and computed tomographic imaging was performed. Demographic and outcome data were extracted for equally numbered samples of blunt-mechanism facial fracture patients aged 60 years or older (geriatric), and adult patients aged 18 to 59 years (adult nongeriatric). Comparisons were made between these two populations using t tests and multivariable logistic regression.


One thousand eighty-seven geriatric and 1087 nongeriatric patients were included. Geriatric patients were significantly more likely to be Caucasian, female, and have sustained fractures as the result of falling. They also had significantly longer hospital stays, were more likely to die, and were more likely to be discharged to home with services. Mandible fractures and panfacial fractures were significantly more common in the nongeriatric population. Geriatric age was associated with doubled length of hospitalization for patients with midface fractures. Logistic regression revealed that significantly higher incidences of orbital floor, maxillary, and condylar fractures in geriatric patients were dependent on geriatric age status, rather than mechanism of injury alone.


Resource allocation for geriatric patients with craniofacial trauma should differ from that of their nongeriatric adult counterparts, with more resources allocated to supportive care during hospitalization and assistive care after discharge. The authors’ data indicate that structural and biological changes in the craniofacial skeleton contribute to differences in fracture location independent of mechanism of injury.


Risk, II.

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