Gunshot Injuries as the leading cause of maxillofacial fractures – implication for the maxillofacial surgeon.
Objective: To determine the contribution of gunshot to the aetiology of maxillofacial fractures and its implication for management by the maxillofacial surgeon.
Methods: This was a cross sectional study of maxillofacial injuries in a tertiary hospital in north central Nigeria between January 2015 and December 2017. One in every three patients with maxillofacial injuries was recruited for the study. Case notes were reviewed and only those who met the inclusion criteria were studied. A total of 123 patients were recruited for the study. Frequencies and percentages were used to present the pattern and the commonest causes of maxillofacial fractures. While aetiology was cross tabulated against patterns of maxillofacial fractures to determine the pattern of maxillofacial fractures in patients with the commonest aetiology. All analysis was carried out using the SPSS 22 software.
Results: The study recruited 108 males (87.8%) and 15 (12.2%) females. Majority of the patients had primary education while gunshot was the commonest aetiologic agent 60 (48.8%) in patients with maxillofacial fractures. Fracture of 3 or more facial bones was the commonest maxillofacial fractures seen in patients following gunshot.
Conclusion: Gunshot injuries are now becoming a problem in Nigeria. There is therefore a need for legislations regulating the sales of arms and the maxillofacial surgeon also need to adapt his practice to this alarming new trend.