Facial Fractures Or Fractured Lives
An article published in Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, February 2008 issue looked at facial fractures of 326 adult female. They found that the type of facial fracture “spoke” of the fractured lives that hid partner violence.
Women who were victims of intimate partner violence were more likely to have zygomatic complex fractures, orbital blow-out fractures, and intracranial injuries. Woman assaulted by unknown or unidentified assailants were more likely to have mandible fractures.
This data, as well as other characteristics, such as delay before seeking medical help, may help surgeons and other doctors recognize women who are victims of this type of abuse.
Sadly, 25-33% of American adult women are affected by intimate partner violence abuse by a spouse or significant other. Of these victims, 88% to 94% will seek medical help for head and neck injuries. More than half (56%) of these women will have facial fractures.
Because of these numbers, facial plastic surgeons and other health care providers who treat maxillofacial injuries need to be able to identify these victims. These women should then be referred to local domestic violence service programs where they can get help with safety planning, information and referrals, support services and advocacy.
Maxillofacial Injuries and Violence Against Women; Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2009;11:48-52; Oneida A. Arosarena, MD; Travis A. Fritsch, MS; Yichung Hsueh, MD; Behrad Aynehchi, MD; Richard Haug, DDS