Craniofacial Injuries in Lacrosse: A Novel Algorithm for Injury Assessment

Ethan L. Plotsker, Prakash Mathew, Erin M. Wolfe, Seth Thaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction:Lacrosse is played widely across the United States, as evidenced by growing participation in the sport. The rapid increase in participation suggests that many of the new players are inexperienced. Many coaches might be ill-equipped to deal with player trauma. There are several crucial differences in the way the sports are played between males and females, altering the experience of the game and the injury profiles that may arise.Methods:A query of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database was performed to study the types of craniofacial injuries incurred from lacrosse.Results:Concussions were the most common injury type, and players between 10 and 14 years old were found to be at greater risk of contusions relative to older players. Players between 15 and 19 years old were at a greater risk of sustaining lacerations. In terms of gender, females were more likely to experience concussions than males, and were at increased risk of head injuries relative to face injuries.Discussion:The finding that females are at increased risk of concussion might be subsequent to a lack of adequate training by coaches. Female athletes tend to experience worse outcomes following concussions incurred secondary to playing sports. Recent work has suggested that this may be a consequence of female anatomy; women tend to have shorter neck dimensions, which predisposes them to more deleterious head-neck accelerations, and thus concussions. These results may inform a layperson-friendly algorithm for the workup of craniofacial injuries sustained from lacrosse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1571-1573
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Concussion
  • craniofacial injury
  • lacrosse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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