Background and objectives : Situated in an area where horse-riding is very popular, we encounter a significant number in maxillofacial traumas due to interaction between horses and humans in our emergency room. As these injuries are often complex and challenging especially in terms of surgical reconstruction, an investigation of injury pattern, severity and treatment modalities seemed reasonable.
Methods : A retrospective analysis of a total number of 2802 trauma cases requiring treatment in our department between the years 2000–2010.
Results : The aforementioned study resulted in 72 (3%) equine-related cases, consisting of 17 males (24%) and 55 females (76%). 14 patients (19%) presented with mandibular fractures, 52 patients (72%) encountered one or more midfacial fractures (maxilla = 20, orbit = 33, noe-complex = 13). Other associated injuries included craniocerebral injury in 14 patients (19%), nerve injuries in 7 patients (10%) and loss of vision of one eye in 1 patient (1%). 57 patients (79%) required surgery. Furthermore the percentage of midfacial fractures is higher than in our general trauma cases.
Conclusions : Horse-related injuries are not common, but are often severe. As the risk seems to be underestimated by the horse-riding community, education should be promoted to increase the usage of helmets.