In rare circumstances, such as an open or depressed fracture, it may be obvious that the skull has been cracked. However, the fracture isn't always visible. Serious signs of a skull fracture include bleeding from the trauma wound, surrounding the trauma site, or around the eyes, ears, and nose. These are all signs that require medical attention.
A CT scan is the best way to diagnose a broken bone inside the head. It can also reveal other injuries, such as blood clots in the brain due to DVT (deep vein thrombosis). A neurologist will be able to diagnose a concussion based on how you react to questions asked by the doctor and through physical tests performed during your examination.
It's important to get medical care as soon as possible after a traumatic event. Doctors can treat any infections that may arise from your injury and use medications to prevent more serious complications.
A headache or discomfort at the place of impact are common signs of a skull fracture. A bruise or a bump I'm suffocating from a wound. My head is throbbing, and I can't stop it from spinning. I must go to the hospital.
After the injury has been treated by a physician, a radiologist will carefully study the x-rays taken during the initial assessment of your injury. The radiologist will then report any fractures or other problems that may require further treatment. Many fractures will heal on their own without any further action, while others may need surgery to repair them. Metal plates and screws are often used in the surgical repair of complex fractures such as skull fractures.
The pain caused by a fractured skull is due to pressure changes inside the skull that trigger nerve impulses which travel to the brain and cause pain. The skull contains many small holes called "foramina" through which nerves enter and leave the brain. A broken bone may press against one of these foramina causing pain signals to be sent directly to the brain.
Pain from a fractured skull may come and go depending on how many bones are broken and which parts of the brain are affected. If you are experiencing severe pain that does not seem to be helping with your headache or nausea, see a doctor immediately.
Small scrapes, bruising, or swelling of the head may be indications of a skull fracture (up to 24 hours to see bruises and bumps) Tenderness or pain at the location of the injury is evidence that a skull fracture has been sustained. The severity of these injuries varies depending on how hard someone falls and where they hit their head.
A patient who has a depressed skull fracture should be treated in the hospital. The patient needs to be watched for signs of increased pressure inside the skull, such as increasing headache or vomiting. CT scans can show whether there are other injuries associated with the depression fracture. The doctor may recommend surgery to treat these other injuries found during the examination of the brain.
The patient will also need to be observed for any changes indicating a worsening condition. These include changes in level of alertness, vision, or speech. If any of these symptoms appear to be worsening, then emergency treatment should be initiated immediately.
Skull fractures are usually caused by severe impacts to the head from heavy objects such as vehicles or buildings. Patients may have no apparent reason for the accident, but there could be evidence of trauma elsewhere on the body. Patients may have a sore spot on the scalp where they struck their head, along with blood coming from the nose or ears. Children may have trouble walking or talking after the injury.
A skull fracture can cause the following symptoms:
What are the symptoms and indicators of a skull fracture?
A skull fracture is a break in one of your skull's bones. A fracture might be as little as a hairline crack or as severe as a depressed fracture. A skull fracture can cause brain damage. Bacteria can enter the skull through a cut in the skin above a skull fracture and create an infection. The bacteria may come from outside the body, such as when someone else has a head injury and allows dirt to get into the wound site or receives medical treatment without proper sterilization.
People often ask if they can crack their own skulls. The short answer is no. If you try to force your skull into contact with a hard surface, such as against the ground during a fall, it could result in serious injuries including fractures. The best option is to call 911 immediately. Emergency responders will know how to handle this type of situation properly.
Fracture of the basilar skull This is the most severe form of skull fracture, including a break in the bone near the base of the skull. Bruises around the eyes and behind the ear are common in patients with this type of fracture. Patients may have vomiting, dizziness, loss of consciousness, and seizure activity immediately after the injury or later if not treated properly. The brain must be protected at all times during treatment of these injuries, which usually requires surgery to repair the damage.
Bruising around the eye and behind the ear is common in patients with this type of fracture.
Concussion A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that causes symptoms such as headache, confusion, memory problems, visual disturbances, and dizziness. These symptoms will resolve themselves, but it is important to receive medical attention if you show signs of multiple concussions. Concussion-related symptoms can be caused by any object that impacts the head, including fists, feet, bats, baseballs, basketballs, hockey pucks, shovels, and knives.
Concussions can be difficult to diagnose because there are no specific tests for them.
If a fracture tears the skin, microorganisms can enter the skull and cause infection and serious brain damage. Sometimes, fragments of the broken skull bone press inside and cause brain injury. These are referred to as "depressed fractures." The side of the head where such a fracture occurs is usually painful when pressed or hit with a hand.
Depressed fractures may not be visible on the outside of the head but can be detected by x-rays. They are treated in much the same way as other types of skull fractures. The doctor will clean the wound and apply a sterile dressing to it. The patient is kept under observation for any changes in his/her condition. Patients with depressed fractures need careful monitoring because they are at risk for developing infections. Infections caused by bacteria entering through the nose or mouth are common in this type of fracture. Patients also tend to have more seizures than those who do not have depressed fractures.
Long-term complications of depressed skull fractures include problems with memory, attention span, and judgment. In some cases, these difficulties are due to lesions found in the injured person's brain after surgery to remove the bone fragment. Other people recover completely from these injuries.