“This is why I thank God every day, I could have been dead from this accident…” are the exact words posted on Instagram by Offset (from the rap trio Migos) who recently sustained facial injuries from a motor vehicle accident the morning of May 17. But he isn’t the first rapper this has happened to. Kanye West, inspired by his 2002 car accident, spit an entire song, “Through the Wire” after sustaining a complicated jaw fracture and facial trauma.
Offset is indeed very lucky to have had minimal injuries after such an accident. In fact, the morning after being released from the hospital, the “Walk It, Talk It” rapper was right back to business. He shared video of himself in the studio, obtained by TMZ. In the clip, the rapper was seen smoking with a bandaged hand. He had other minor cuts and bruises. And the hospital bracelet was still on his wrist.
It’s unclear what caused the accident, but the rapper was taken to the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. In situations like this, the ER physician is the initial provider but then typically refers to a specialist, such as an oral and facial surgeon, to manage and treat facial trauma and injuries.
Oral or facial trauma can result from car accidents like this, sports injuries, and physical altercations. This is why you want to refrain from getting hit in the head and face, and when playing sports, wear a custom mouth guard. Breaking your teeth or jaw can be a very debilitating experience, especially for those whose business is heavily influenced by their appearance or use of their mouth. You can significantly reduce the risk of knocking out teeth or breaking your jaw by wearing a mouth guard.
Although the details of Offset’s injuries were not publically disclosed, I consulted with renowned oral and facial surgeon Dr. Porchia James of About Face Oral & Facial Surgery, PLLC. She is an expert in treating and repairing facial injury and trauma, but was not a part of Offset’s care team.
Oral and facial surgeons are experts in not only treating and repairing these types of injuries but also fractures of the upper and lower jaws and the orbits surrounding the eyes, and facial lacerations. Their knowledge of how jaws come together (dental occlusion) is critical when repairing complex facial fractures. Oral and facial surgeons are the specialists most qualified to deal with these types of injuries. In some cases, they may detect a “hidden” injury that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Although Dr. Porchia did not treat the rapper, in her professional opinion and based on her experience she stated that, “Upon evaluating the public photos of Offset, it appears that he may have suffered from an intraoral laceration due to the old blood present in the mouth.” She also noticed a small nasal bridge abrasion and swelling and redness on the left side of his forehead, which she states likely occurred from the impact of his face hitting the steering wheel or airbag.
“You’ll also notice that he wore a cervical collar around his neck because we consider cervical spine injuries in complex maxillofacial trauma until proven otherwise. The incidence of a cervical spine injury ranges from 1–10% in all maxillofacial trauma,” said the specialist. Fortunately, Offset wasn’t affected.
Dr. Porchia also said, “Offset is very lucky to have suffered only minor injuries. I’ve had to perform full facial reconstruction on patients that have encountered multiple facial fractures of the jaw, nose, cheekbones, and orbit from motor vehicle accidents such as what Offset encountered. He is indeed very lucky to be alive.”
It’s important to know that the severity of facial trauma can never be determined by the naked eye alone. X-rays and CAT scans are instrumental in quickly determining the extent of injuries. Sometimes, there’s more to a black eye, busted lip, and swelling. Facial fractures can be life-threatening and debilitating matters that require immediate surgery.