Midfacial fractures in the pediatric population.


Fractures to the midface in the pediatric age group are rare because the mandible and cranium provide protection and absorb most of the traumatic impact. In addition, these midfacial bones are extremely elastic. When caring for midfacial fractures, standard reconstructive procedures directed toward restoration of form and function must be met. Unfortunately, diagnosis of facial fractures may be difficult because it is very dependent on the site and severity of injury as well as the child's age. Fracture management is similar to that seen in adults with the major exception related to the developing dentition, which requires adjustments in the securing of intermaxillary fixation. Children will usually recover quickly and, fortunately, complications remain rare. It is important for clinicians to closely evaluate these patients for other associated injuries. Unfortunately, due to the small numbers and poor long-term follow-up, definitive conclusions are often difficult to obtain.


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