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Skull fracture

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
  • 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.

Update Date: 1/8/2012

Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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