If you play a sport there is a pretty good chance you are going to get hit the face

Whether it's with a ball, someone else's body or the ground - getting hit in the face while playing sports is common.

While the face is the most vulnerable area of the body, it is often also the least protected.  Approximately 11-40% of all sports injuries involve the face.

The most common types of sports-related facial trauma are the soft tissue injuries and the fractures of the "T-Zone" bones (the nose, the zygoma, and the mandible).  These injuries often occur in combination.

While most facial injuries that occur during athletic activities are minor (lacerations, contusions, and abrasions), it is major injuries that have the ability to impact a young athletes life. Significant facial trauma must be diagnosed accurately and treated with precision to avoid permanent facial deformity.

Nose, Eyes, & Cheekbones

The injuries sustained playing sports are as diverse as those playing them but here are some examples of common sports injuries Dr. Walker has treated:

Nasal Fractures

The nose is the most commonly fractured facial structure. Nasal fractures account for approximately 50% of sports-related facial fracture.  The fact that broken noses are so common may account for the high number that go undertreated.  This is a risk itself as acute nasal fractures lead to chronic nasal deformities.  Sometimes breathing difficulties that may impair the performance of competitive athletes can develop as well.

Orbital Fractures

The risk of injury to the eye is highly related to the type of sport.  High-risk sports are those with high-speed projectile objects, clubs, or aggressive body contacts.  A badly set or corrected orbital fracture can alter the shape of the eye or the face.

Cheekbone (ZMC) Fractures

Fractures of the cheek bones or zygomaticomaxillary complex (ZMC) account for approximately 10% of sports-related facial fractures.  This type of fracture typically occurs when significant force is directed at the prominence of the cheekbone.  When left untreated, cheekbone fractures can cause pain and if set improperly can lead to an altered facial shape.