Skull fracture

Basilar skull fracture; Depressed skull fracture; Linear skull fracture

A skull fracture is a fracture or break in the cranial (skull) bones.

Skull of an adult

This picture shows a normal skull of an adult.

Skull fracture

Although the skull is tough, resilient, and provides excellent protection for the brain, a severe impact or blow can result in fracture of the skull and may be accompanied by injury to the brain. Some of the different types of skull fracture include simple -- a break in the bone without damage to the skin; linear or hairline -- a break in a cranial bone resembling a thin line, without splintering, depression, or distortion of bone; depressed - -a break in a cranial bone (or "crushed" portion of skull) with depression of the bone in toward the brain; or a compound -- a break in or loss of skin and splintering of the bone. Along with the fracture, brain injury, such as subdural hematoma (bleeding) may occur.

Skull fracture

Although the skull is tough, resilient, and provides excellent protection for the brain, a severe impact or blow can result in fracture of the skull and may be accompanied by injury to the brain. Some of the different types of skull fracture include simple -- a break in the bone without damage to the skin; linear or hairline -- a break in a cranial bone resembling a thin line, without splintering, depression, or distortion of bone; depressed - -a break in a cranial bone (or "crushed" portion of skull) with depression of the bone in toward the brain; or a compound -- a break in or loss of skin and splintering of the bone. Along with the fracture, brain injury, such as subdural hematoma (bleeding) may occur.

Battle's sign - behind the ear

Skull fractures are common in children and result from accidents (the majority are automobile or auto/bike accidents) or abuse. Battle's sign is seen several days following a basilar skull fracture. There may have been bloody drainage from the ear immediately after the fracture occurred.

Infant skull fracture

Skull fractures may occur with head injuries. Although the skull is both tough and resilient and provides excellent protection for the brain, a severe impact or blow can result in fracture of the skull and may be accompanied by injury to the brain.

Considerations

Causes

Symptoms

First Aid

Do Not

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention