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Skull Fracture

What is skull fracture?

A skull fracture refers to a break in the cranial bone, also known as skull. The skull fractures are of many types but there is one major cause for all the type of skull fracture i.e. a trauma to your head that will impact the head that is strong enough to break the bone of the skull. Skull fractures are needed to treat as soon as possible.

Types of skull fracture

Skull fractures are of many types depends on the force and location of the impact on the skull and also the severity of the injury.

Different levels of injuries and trauma result in different types of skull fractures. Have a body map of the skull.

Type of skull fracture includes:

Closed fracture: A closed fracture is that in which the skin that covers the fracture area is not torn or cut, a closed fracture is also called as a simple fracture.

Open fracture: In an open fracture the bone is broke and it also has torn the skin, also known as a compound fracture.

Depressed skull fracture: In depressed fracture, a bone gets displaced towards the brain.

Basal fracture: A basal fracture refers to the fracture that occurs at the base of the skull, these include the area around the eyes, ears, and nose or at the top of the neck, close to the spine.

Linear fracture: A fracture in a straight line.

Comminuted fracture: In this type of fracture a bone breaks into three or more than three parts.

Cause of skull fracture

A skull fracture always results from brain trauma or any type of impact to the brain. Trauma that includes the skull fracture include:

  • Heavy falls
  • Spots injury
  • Road accidents
  • Physical assault

Symptoms of skull fracture

In the case of an open or depressed fracture, it can be seen that the skull is broken.

Other symptoms of a skull fracture include:

  • Headache or pain at the sight of trauma
  • A bump or bruise
  • Bleeding from the wound
  • Bleeding from the ear, nose or eyes
  • Leaking of CSF (Cerebrospinal fluid) from ears and nose. CSF looks like a clear fluid.
  • Raccoon eyes and battle’s sign
  • Bruising behind the ears and under the eyes
  • The feeling of confusion, drowsy, or irritation
  • Slurred speech or loss of speech
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Imbalance of body
  • Impaired vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stiff neck
  • Convulsion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Difficulty in hearing or ringing hearing
  • Numbness or paralysis
  • Swelling
  • Facial weakness
  • Loss of bladder control or bowel
  • Nausea and vomiting

Diagnosis for a skull fracture

A doctor can be able to diagnose a skull fracture by simply performing a physical examination of the head. They will also be checking cardiac and pulmonary functions then after that, they will carry a neurological exam of the individual.

To diagnose fracture doctors use various imaging tests to will give a clear picture and help to learn them that what kind of fracture it is. The imaging test to diagnose a skull fracture include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.

An X-ray gives an image of the bone, while an MRI of the brain provides a detailed image of the bone as well as soft tissues.

A CT scan is the most commonly used imaging modality to diagnose a skull fracture.

Neurological examination:

The neurological examination includes the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), it gives the details of the severity of the injury. This involves the determination of how impaired a person’s consciousness is to ascertain whether or not brain damage is likely.

Treatment for a skull fracture

Treatment of the skull fracture depends on the severity of the injury. The treatment may also depend on several factors like age, health, and medical history as well as the fracture type of the individual.        

Skull fractures are not always managed exactly like other fractures. Most of the skull fractures are not too painful, in the majority of cases skull will heal itself.

However, in some cases such as basal skull fractures, medications are given to manage pain. A basal fracture may require surgery if there is an excessive leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the nose and ears.

A depressed skull fracture which is severe enough is more often requires surgery because a depressed skull fracture needs more time in healing on their own.

Outlook for a skull fracture

So, most of the skull fractures that are not associated with injuries with the brain don’t need surgery they may heal at their own.

Prevention for a skull fracture

Skull fractures can be prevented by wearing protective headgear while riding bicycles and participating in sports in which there are chances of head injury like football, rock climbing, etc.

Also, wearing a helmet during riding a motorcycle can prevent you from a skull fracture and head trauma.

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