Pediatric Pedestrian Facial Fracture Patterns and Management Following Motor Vehicle Collisions

Farrah C. Liu, Thuy My T. Le, Nicholas C. Oleck, Jordan N. Halsey, Ian C. Hoppe, Edward S. Lee, Mark S. Granick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose:Pedestrian trauma due to motor vehicle crashes can be especially destructive to the pediatric population as the facial skeleton is immature and developing. Almost half of crashes resulting in pedestrian death involved alcohol consumption, and children are often victims of irresponsible driving. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of facial fractures in this patient population in order to analyze management strategies that optimize functional recovery.Methods:A retrospective chart review was performed for all facial fractures resulting from motor vehicle collisions with pedestrians in the pediatric population at a level 1 trauma center in an urban environment (University Hospital in Newark, NJ). Patient demographics were collected, as well as location of fractures, concomitant injuries, and surgical management strategies.Results:During the time period examined, 55 patients were identified as 18 years of age or younger and having sustained a facial fracture as the result of being struck by a motor vehicle. The mean age was 11.3 (range 1-18) years, with a male predominance of 69.0%. There were a total of 125 fractures identified on radiologic imaging via CT or X-ray. The most common fractures were those of the orbit (20.0%), mandible (19.2%), and nasal bone (10.4%). The mean Glasgow Coma Scale on arrival was 12.1 (range 4-15). Fifteen patients were intubated on, or prior to, arrival to the trauma bay. The most common concomitant injuries were intracranial hemorrhage, long bone fractures, and cervical spine fractures. The mean operative time was 216.9 (range 63-515) minutes. Surgery was required in 36 patients, with most undergoing open reduction and internal fixation with titanium plates and screws. Two patients required resorbable plates, and one required Medpor implants. The mean hospital length of stay was 9.9 (range 1-59) days. Two patients expired.Conclusions:There is currently a dearth of literature regarding the management and patterns of injury for pediatric pedestrian injuries due to motor vehicle collisions. The impact of these injuries can be devastating with concomitant life-threatening complications, and may influence the future development of the facial skeleton after healing of the bone and soft tissue. The authors hope this study can provide insight and further investigation regarding prevention and management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-268
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Craniofacial
  • pediatric
  • reconstructive surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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