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How do skull fractures manifest?

Skull fractures can happen in numerous scenarios, including falls or car crashes. Though many fractures of the skull actually do not need additional treatment or intervention, it is possible that a serious fracture could affect a person’s brain.

For this reason, it is important for someone who suffers from a blow to the head to get immediate medical attention to see just how serious it is.

Signs of a skull fracture

Medline Plus discusses different types of fractures and how they manifest. First, skull fractures can potentially cause intracranial bleeding. This results in periorbital ecchymosis, i.e. dark bruising around the eyes that colloquially gets called “raccoon eyes”.

Skull fractures may also result in cerebrospinal fluid leaking out through the ears or nose. This fluid appears clear, so beware of potential runny noses after taking a blow to the head.

These fractures could include symptoms like nausea, headache, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, drowsiness, seizures, troubles with balance or coordination and confusion.

Types of fractures

Fractures fall into one of two categories: simple or compound. Simple fractures do not cause damage to the skin. On the other hand, compound fractures involve the bone splintering and causing damage to the skin from within.

Skull fractures are typically linear. This means they form a fracture line and typically do not have any distortions. Depressed skull fractures involve an area of the bone caving in and toward the brain. Basilar fractures are the most serious and involve the back of the head, where the spine and skull meet.

Depending on the type of fracture and manifesting symptoms, treatments will differ.


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