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 1/13/2014
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.