Open Mandible and Maxillary Fractures Associated with Higher Risk of Infection in Victims of Assault

Melissa Canas, Ricardo Fonseca, Leonardo Diaz, Alejandro De Filippis, Hussain Afzal, Jose A. Aldana, Chris Machica, Jennifer Leonard, Stephen Y. Liang, Kelly Bochicchio, Grant V. Bochicchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Victims of assault (VOA) often present with fractures of the mandible and maxilla. They represent a complex challenge because of possible compromise of the airway, and infection-related complications because of potential involvement of the oral cavity. We hypothesized that open mandible and maxillary fractures in VOA are associated with a higher rate of infection compared with non-VOA patients with open facial fractures. Patients and Methods: Patients admitted to our level 1 trauma center from 2005 to 2020 with a diagnosis of open mandible and maxillary fractures were included. Demographics, mechanisms of injury, fracture location, cultures, infectious complications, antibiotic treatments, and clinical outcomes were abstracted. Patients were stratified by their mechanism of injury into VOA or non-VOA and were compared using χ2 and Student t-test using SPSS (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY). Results: We identified 316 patients with open mandible and maxillary fractures. There were 198 patients categorized as being VOA, and 118 as non-VOA. Nineteen of 316 patients were diagnosed with infection related to the fracture (3.8% abscesses, 1.9% cellulitis, and 1.9% osteomyelitis). Although the Injury Severity Score (ISS) was higher in non-VOA patients (5.8 ± 2.6 vs. 4.9 ± 1.8; p < 0.013), most of the infections were in the VOA cohort (17/19; 89.5%; p < 0.013). Conclusions: Open fractures of the mandible and maxilla in VOA are associated with a greater risk of infection compared with non-victims of assault. The relation between VOA and poor SDH has been studied recently; clinicians should be aware of this association and implement special considerations and appropriate follow-up visits to decrease the rate of infection in this currently expanding population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-381
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical infections
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • infection
  • open mandible fractures
  • open maxillary fractures
  • trauma
  • victims of assault


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