Maxillofacial fractures and dental trauma in a high school soccer goalkeeper: A case report

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Objective: To present the case of a 17-year-old male soccer goalkeeper who sustained maxillofacial fractures and dental trauma after being struck in the face by an opponent's knee. Background: Because of the nature of the sport and a lack of protective headgear, soccer players are at risk for sustaining maxillofacial trauma. Facial injuries can complicate the routine management of on-field medical emergencies often encountered by certified athletic trainers. The appropriate management of maxillofacial trauma on the playing field may help to reduce both the immediate and long-term morbidity and mortality associated with these injuries. Differential Diagnosis: Lacerated superior labial artery, lacerated upper lip, dental fractures, maxillofacial fractures, orbital blowout fracture, closed head injury, cervical spine injury, cerebrovascular accident. Treatment: The athlete received immediate on-field medical care and was subsequently transported to the hospital, where diagnostic testing was performed and further treatment was provided. Hospital inpatient management included dental and plastic surgery. After discharge from the hospital, the athlete underwent several additional dental procedures, including gingival surgery and nonsurgical endodontic treatments. The fractures were followed closely to assure that adequate healing had occurred. The athlete did not return to soccer. Uniqueness: Certified athletic trainers need to be prepared for on-field medical emergencies. Bleeding associated with maxillofacial trauma can complicate basic medical interventions such as airway maintenance. Inappropriate on-field management may result in unnecessary morbidity and mortality for the injured athlete. Therefore, immediate recognition of the severity of the injury is needed in order to institute appropriate airway-management strategies. Conclusions: It is sometimes necessary to consider non-standard methods of airway management in order to first address heavy bleeding that may be associated with facial trauma. Achieving hemostasis is essential in order to prevent potentially life-threatening complications related to hemorrhage, such as airway obstruction and hypovolemic shock.








Timothy Crawford Sell

Associate Consulting Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

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