Objectives: To analyze 202 consecutive frontal sinus fracture (FSF) patients treated between 1974 and 2002 at the University of California, Davis. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed, including all patients with frontal sinus fractures from 1987 to 2002. This and 72 previously reported patients (1974-1986) were analyzed, comparing age, gender, fracture type, associated fractures, procedure type, and complications. Results: Frontal sinus fractures resulting from motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) decreased from 71% to 52% (P < 0.05). Fractures from assaults increased from 9% to 21% (P < 0.05). The incidence of "through and through" fractures decreased from 40% to 11% (P < 0.05). Whereas combined anterior/posterior table fractures increased from 36% to 57% (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The etiology and severity of FSF has changed from 1974 to 2002. This is reflected in a reduced number of fractures resulting from MVAs as well as a reduced severity of injury. The most likely explanation is the use of safety belts and airbags.
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