Skull fracture

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A skull fracture involves any damage in the cranial bone or skull. The injury is brought about by an impact or blow to the head that is strong enough to break the bone.

What are the types?

The type of skull fracture is based on the force of the blow, site of impact and shape of the object responsible for the injury.

An object that is pointy is likely to penetrate the skull than a hardened, blunt surface.

Some of the types of skull fractures include:

Skull fracture
The injury is brought about by an impact or blow to the head that is strong enough to break the bone.
  • Closed fracture – the skin covering the fracture is not cut or broken
  • Open – this type occurs if the skin is damaged and bone can be seen
  • Depressed – this fracture causes the skull to have an evident indentation or extend into the brain cavity
  • Basal – this occurs in the floor of the skull

What are the indications?

In some instances, especially with a depressed or open fracture, it is not easy to determine if the skull is broken. Oftentimes, a fracture is not evident.

Some of the serious signs of a skull fracture include:

  • Bleeding from the wound due to trauma
  • Bruising around the site of injury, beneath the eyes or behind the ears
  • Swelling
  • Intense pain
  • Redness or warmth at the site

Management of a skull fracture

The treatment for a skull fracture is based on various factors. Generally, most cases are not painful, and the skull will heal on its own.

For a basal type, pain medications might be given. Even though narcotics might be needed, most cases of a skull fracture only require over-the-counter pain medications for a brief period.

Surgical intervention is often the suggested course of treatment for a depressed skull fracture if severe especially in cases where there is pressure on the brain or leakage of cerebrospinal fluid.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a skull fracture is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn about the possible causes and how it is managed, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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