Craniofacial Injuries from Personal Watercraft Accidents

Nicholas Mirsky, Minji Kim, Ethan Plotsker, Seth R. Thaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Personal watercraft (PWC) use is a popular leisure activity. Although injuries associated with PWCs have been examined broadly, there is a lack of investigation into craniofacial injuries within this setting. This paper reviews the literature discussing PWC incidents and PWC-related craniofacial injuries. A comprehensive literature search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Google Scholar, and National Library of Medicine databases was conducted for studies published through January 2021. Articles were selected if they contained information on PWC accidents and related craniofacial injuries. We also examined 3 patient cases of PWC-related craniofacial injuries. Overall, our review suggests that over the past 20 years, injuries and accidents have decreased significantly whereas fatalities have decreased to a lesser extent. Most PWC-related craniofacial injuries result from blunt trauma and a notable number of deaths and traumatic brain injuries occur in adolescents. Given the increasing number of PWC sales, PWC-related craniofacial injuries may be more prevalent, which prompts improved regulations and protective gears. Existing state laws on PWCs vary dramatically. As of now, there is no uniform policy that requires protective equipment use like helmets or instruction before PWC use. There also should be limitations on alcohol consumption as well as age of the riders. Overall, our review indicates that more research is needed to reduce the number of craniofacial injuries among PWC riders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1621-1625
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Craniofacial
  • head injuries
  • injuries
  • Jet-Ski
  • maxillofacial
  • personal watercraft
  • trauma
  • traumatic brain injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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