• geriatric patients;
  • Malaysia;
  • maxillofacial injuries;
  • retrospective study

Background:  Road traffic accidents are the main cause of trauma in Malaysia. It has been shown that there was an increase in admissions for trauma patients older than 60 years in the last decade. The purpose of this study was to determine the pattern of maxillofacial injuries in the geriatric patients referred to Seremban Hospital, Malaysia.

Methods:  Records of patients aged 60 years or older who sustained oral and maxillofacial injuries between 1998 and 2002 were reviewed. Data related to age, sex, race, etiology, types of injuries and treatment modalities were obtained.

Results:  A total of 134 geriatric patients with maxillofacial and dental injuries were seen in Seremban Hospital between January 1998 and December 2002. There were 101 (75.4%) men and 33 (24.6%) women. The age ranged 60–92 years with the mean age of 68.3 years (standard deviation, 7.48). Chinese made up the majority of the patients (51.8%), followed by Malays (37.2%), Indian (20.4%) and other ethnic groups (1.5%). The most common cause of injury was due to road traffic accidents (64.2%) However, falls were more common in those aged 76 years and above. The most common bone fracture documented was the mandible (35.7%) followed by fracture of the zygomatic complex (34.0%). The majority of treatment was conservative or closed reduction.

Conclusion:  All the elderly patients with facial trauma were managed conservatively or as closed reduction in this hospital. This was largely because of their comorbid state and financial constraints.