Skull Fractures : Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

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If the skull is subjected to a direct and powerful blow, it may shatter or fracture. A head injury severe enough to shatter at least one bone is the primary cause of a skull fracture. A skull fracture requires immediate medical attention.

Skull fractures can range in severity, and the degree of the damage relies on the bone or bones that are injured, the depth of the fracture, and whether or not the skin, blood vessels, sinuses, and mucous membranes are also impacted. Skull fractures can either be communicative, which implies that many fracture lines are present, or linear, which indicates that they have a single fracture line.

Fractures can also be classified as either open or closed. When there is a skin break or an open wound close to the fracture, it is referred to as an open fracture, also known as a complex fracture. The bone won’t pierce the skin in a closed fracture.

What is skull fracture?

A skull fracture is a fracture of one or more cranial vault or skull base bones. They are classified based on their appearance, location, degree of depression, and whether they are open or closed. Through a wound, a sinus, the ear, or the oropharynx, open fractures connect with the skin. Skull fractures can be linear or comminuted; comminuted fractures are more complicated and include several fracture lines.

skull fracture

Types of skull fractures

The power of the blow, where it strikes the skull, and the object’s form that collides with the head all affect the type of skull fracture that occurs.

Compared to a hard, blunt surface like the earth, a pointier item has a higher chance of penetrating the skull. Different fracture types result in varying degrees of stress and harm. A skull’s body map is visible.

Closed fracture

The skin that covers the fracture region is not damaged or sliced in a closed fracture, also known as a simple fracture.

Open fracture

An open fracture, also known as a complex fracture, occurs when the skin is ruptured and the bone appears.

Depressed fracture

This refers to a fracture that causes the skull to indent or expand into the brain cavity.

Basal fracture

A basal fracture occurs at the floor of the skull, around the eyes, ears, and nose, or at the top of the neck near the spine.

There are 4 other types of skull fractures in adults that range from mild to severe:

  1. Linear skull fracture – There is a break in the bone, yet the bone does not move.
  2. Depressed skull fracture – Because of the damage, a portion of the skull bone has sunken in. In many situations, surgery is required to address this.
  3. Skull base fracture – This is a break in the bone near the bottom of the skull. It is a severe form of skull fracture. One to three days later, you may see bruising around your eyes and behind your ear. CSF might also be seeping from your nose or ears. This is due to a rip in the covering of the brain. This sort of break frequently needs immediate surgery.
  4. Penetrating skull fracture -This is a crack in the bone caused by anything passing through it, such as a bullet, sword, or bomb fragmen ts. This frequently results in serious brain damage and hemorrhage. It requires immediate surgical treatment.

Causes of skull fractures

When a force powerful enough to shatter the bone strikes the skull, it fractures. Any form of blow to the head can induce a skull fracture. This includes the following:

  • Striking someone with a baseball bat, hammer, or rock.
  • Falling and hitting the ground.
  • Head injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
  • A motorcycle accident causes brain damage.
  • A car or train strikes you as a pedestrian or bicyclist.
  • Being physically mistreated or attacked.
  • Sustaining a sports injury.

Symptoms of skull fractures

In rare circumstances, such as an open or depressed fracture, it may be obvious that the skull has been cracked. However, the fracture is not always visible. If you have any signs of a head injury, get medical assistance.

The following are serious signs of a skull fracture:

  • Bleeding from the wound caused by the trauma, near the location of the trauma, or around the eyes, ears, and nose.
  • Bruising around the trauma site, under the eyes in a condition known as raccoon eyes, or behind the ears as in a battle’s sign.
  • Severe pain at the trauma site.
  • swelling at the trauma site.
  • Redness or warmth at the trauma site.

Headache, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, restlessness, irritability, loss of balance, stiff neck, pupils not reacting to light, disorientation, extreme sleepiness, and fainting are examples of less severe symptoms that may not appear to be connected to a skull fracture.

Diagnose of  skull fractures

A simple physical examination of the head by a doctor may be enough to detect a fracture. It is, nevertheless, beneficial in determining the degree and nature of the damage. This need more specialized diagnostic equipment.

Various imaging tests can help doctors determine the type of fracture you have and how far it goes. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are common imaging techniques that can assist your doctor in diagnosing skull fractures.

An X-ray shows a picture of the bone. An MRI produces a picture of the bone and soft tissue. This enables your doctor to observe the skull fracture as well as the brain.

A CT or CAT scan is the most commonly utilized instrument. Because it gives a 3D image, this examination generally offers the clearest depiction of the fracture and any brain injury.

Treatment of skull fractures

Skull fractures are not treated in the same way that other bone fractures are. Several things will influence treatment. Your doctor will evaluate your age, health, and medical history, as well as the kind of fracture, the severity of the fracture, and any resultant brain problems.

Some skull fractures aren’t extremely painful, and the skull will mend on its own in the majority of cases. In other circumstances, such as basal skull fractures, pain medication may be all that is required. Although narcotics may be required in rare cases, most patients with a skull fracture simply require over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol) for a short period of time.

A basal fracture, on the other hand, may necessitate surgery if it causes considerable leaking of cerebrospinal fluid (the liquid that cushions and surrounds the brain and spinal cord) from the nose and ears.

If the depression is severe enough, surgery is typically necessary to cure depressed skull fractures. This is because depressed skull fractures heal more slowly on their own.

Depressed skull fractures may cause not just aesthetic concerns, but potentially severe brain harm if the fracture is not treated. If the depression causes pressure on the brain or if there is cerebrospinal fluid leaking, surgery may be required.

In a nutshell

The implant utilized in skull fracture surgery determines the procedure’s outcome. As a consequence, Zealmax Ortho develops and sells the most reliable orthopedic implants, which have a high success rate and are extensively used in surgery worldwide. We provide a wide choice of bone implants at reasonable costs without sacrificing quality.

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