Le Fort Fractures: A Collective Review

Bradley J. Phillips, Lauren M. Turco

Abstract

Le Fort fractures constitute a pattern of complex facial injury that occurs secondary to blunt facial trauma.  The most common mechanisms of injury for these fractures, which are frequently associated with drug and alcohol use, include motor vehicle collisions, assault, and falls. A thorough search of the world’s literature following PRISMA guidelines was conducted through PubMed and EBSCO databases. Search terms included “Le Fort fracture”, “facial”, “craniofacial”, and “intracranial.”  Articles were selected based on relevance and examined regarding etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, complications, and outcomes in adults. The analyzed studies were published between 1980 and 2016. Initial data search yielded 186 results. The search was narrowed to exclude articles lacking in specificity for Le Fort fractures.  Fifty-one articles were selected, the majority of which were large case studies, and collectively reported that Le Fort fractures are most commonly due to high-velocity MVC and that the severity of fracture type sustained occurred with increasing frequency.  It was also found that there is a general lack of published Level I, Level II, and Level III studies regarding Le Fort fracture management, surgical management, and outcomes. The limitation of this study, similar to all PRISMA-guided review articles, is the dependence on previously published research and availability of references as outlined in our methodology. While mortality rates for Le Fort fractures are low, these complex injuries seldom occur in isolation and are associated with other severe injuries to the head and neck. Quick and accurate diagnosis of Le Fort fractures and associated injuries is crucial to the successful management of blunt head trauma.

Keywords

Le Fort Fracture; Facial trauma; Blunt head trauma

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