Facial Fractures and the National Basketball Association: Epidemiology and Outcomes.
Laryngoscope. 2020 Apr 20;:
Authors: Salehi PP, Heiser A, Torabi SJ, Azizzadeh B, Lee J, Lee YH
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To identify the epidemiology and impact of facial fractures on player performance and return to play (RTP) in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case-control series METHODS: Fifty-three NBA players who sustained facial fractures between 1984 and 2018 were identified. Players with pre- and postinjury statistics were included in the performance analysis. A control group was matched by age, body mass index (BMI), position, NBA experience, and player efficiency rating. Fisher exact tests and Student t tests were performed to analyze player demographics and performance variables.
RESULTS: At the time of injury, the average player’s age was 26.17 years, BMI was 24.80 kg/m2 , and NBA experience was 4.97 years. Players missed an average of 3.77 games and 18.21 days prior to RTP. Forty-eight players (90.6%) did RTP the subsequent season, whereas 43 of those players (81.1%) met inclusion criteria for performance analysis. There was no significant change in performance between pre- and postinjury seasons. Players managed operatively missed significantly more games (8.15 vs. 1.85; P = .034) and days (51.08 vs. 5.53; P = .003) than players managed nonoperatively, whereas performance was not impacted. Average career length following facial fracture was significantly shorter compared to controls (5.14 vs. 6.42 years; P = .010) and a decrease in three-pointer percentage (P = .004) was observed.
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of players who suffer facial fractures RTP in the NBA and do not experience significant decline in performance following injury. These results should aid physicians caring for basketball players at any level, and may help inform future guidelines for treatment and injury prevention.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3b Laryngoscope, 2020.
PMID: 32311769 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]