Kylian Mbappé injured in the nose: what the mask that the French team striker will wear will look like for the rest of Euro 2024 ?

Kylian Mbappé injured in the nose: what the mask that the French team striker will wear will look like for the rest of Euro 2024 ?

Euro 2024 : quel masque de protection pour Kylian Mbappé

Violently hit in the nose when the Blues entered the Euro football competition, Kylian Mbappé suffers from a fracture. According to the French Football Federation, number 10 will not be operated on "immediately" and should return to the field with a mask. One doubt, however: the date of his return to competition.

A narrow victory 1 goal to 0 and a broken nose for the team captain. This is the result of the first match of the Blues, opposed to Austria, in Euro 2024 organized in Germany. In the 86th minute, Kylian Mbappé headed a ball before his nose violently hit the shoulder of Austrian defender Kevin Danso. The shock is violent and the French attacker remains on the ground. His white jersey is stained with blood. When the athlete gets up, we see Kylian Mbappé's deviated nasal septum in the images.

The broken nose of number 10 was confirmed overnight in a press release from the French Football Federation. "He will receive treatment in the coming days, without undergoing surgery immediately. A mask will be made so as to allow number 10 of the French team to consider resuming competition after a period dedicated to treatment. Will he be absent from the field for the rest of the group matches, Friday June 21, against the Netherlands and Tuesday June 25 against Poland ? "It is a little premature to give a timetable", Philippe Diallo, president of the FFF, said this Tuesday at a press conference.

The nose, particularly exposed in contact sports

Football, basketball, rugby… all are so-called contact team sports. Which means that injuries, particularly to the face, are common. According to a study published in 2020 in Sciences et Sports, craniofacial accidents occupy third place in frequency in sport after trauma to the lower and upper limbs. "Nearly 29% of facial injuries are recognized as being of sporting origin", including the middle level of the face, which includes the nose, first exposed during a collision with another player.

The diagnosis is based on clinical examination: doctors lightly palpate the nasal bridge to detect irregularities and deviations. X-rays are generally unnecessary, but the doctor may order imaging if he suspects trauma to nearby tissues. Treatment is based on pain relief, drainage of septal hematomas, in other words, the accumulation of blood under the cartilage mucosa of the nasal septum to avoid necrosis of the cartilage and, if necessary, realignment of the broken bones.

An operation after the competition ?

According to the MSD manual, deviation of the nasal root is common in nasal fractures. Surgery, reduction of the fracture, is indicated a few days after the shock, the time for the swelling to disappear. Waiting longer, beyond 10 days, could leave aesthetic traces, but a rhinoplasty remains possible at a later stage. Was an operation unnecessary in the case of Kylian Mbappé ? Did the medical staff of the Blues decide to wait until the end of the competition ? Another possibility: the doctors were able to reduce Kylian Mbappé's fracture immediately after the match without going through the operating room.

We know that the French striker will wear a custom-made mask according to the press release from the French Football Federation. We remember well that of Antoine Dupont, player of the XV of France, victim of a maxillozygomatic fracture during the Rugby World Cup in September 2023. He had been operated on during the competition, which is not the case of Kylian Mbappé.

What are protective masks for ?

According to the study of Sciences and Sports, protective masks for athletes are made up of two layers, described as follows:

an outer layer allows the transmission of impact energy to the skull and non-traumatized facial elements. Its structure is made of a material that is both rigid and flexible (polyethylene, polymethyl methacrylate, etc.); an internal foam layer, directly in contact with the face, allows the attenuation of the energy of the impact and its transmission to the bones of the facial area. It reduces the force of the impact, distributes it to a wider area and unloads the fractured area so that there is no direct contact with the mask. In addition, this space created allows ventilation and improves comfort and thermoregulation.

It is imperative that the protective mask is stable, comfortable, guarantees good peripheral vision and is safe for the player's opponents. This facial protection should allow athletes an early return to the field during the consolidation period (six weeks for the nose), while guaranteeing the athlete's safety. According to the authors of the article, from the maxillofacial surgery department of Caen University Hospital, "this attitude does not generate increased risks of new fracture or displacement secondary of the fracture having indicated the mask. This is confirmed by the review of the literature. They specify that they authorize in their department the resumption of sporting activity in training or competition from the 1st week, with the mask.

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