Bone and Joint Institute

The le fort system revisited: Trauma velocity predicts the path of le fort i fractures through the lateral buttress

Document Type


Publication Date



Canadian Journal of Plastic Surgery





First Page


Last Page


URL with Digital Object Identifier



© 2015 Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons. All rights reserved. Objective: To examine the effect of trauma velocity on the pattern of Le Fort I facial fractures. Method: A retrospective medical record review was conducted on a consecutive cohort of craniofacial traumas surgically treated by a single surgeon between 2007 and 2011 (n=150). Of these cases, 39 Le Fort fractures were identified. Patient demographic information, method of trauma and velocity of impact were reviewed for these cases. Velocity of impact was expressed categorically as either 'high' or 'low': High-velocity fractures were those caused by a fall from >1 story or a motor vehicle collision; lowvelocity fractures were the result of assaults with a blunt weapon, closed fist or falls from standing height. The vertical position of each fracture was measured at its point of entry on the lateral buttress and its point of exit on the piriform aperture. To allow for comparison across individuals, values were expressed as ratios based on their location on the face relative to these landmarks. A Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare the fracture heights caused by high-and low-velocity trauma. Results: The results revealed that high-velocity traumas to the face create Le Fort I fractures at a higher point in the lateral buttress compared with low-velocity traumas. There was no difference between heights at the piriform aperture. Conclusions: High-velocity trauma resulted in higher Le Fort I fracture patterns compared with low-velocity trauma.

Find in your library