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Skull Fractures

The cranial portion of the skull consists of eight bones that are joined together protect the brain. A person suffers a skull fracture when any of those bones is fractured. Blunt force trauma will be the cause of the fracture. The biggest concern about a skull fracture isn’t the fracture itself. It’s the skull’s proximity to the brain that’s worrisome.

Types of Skull Fractures

Depending on the type and extent of a skull fracture, a brain injury like swelling, bleeding or clotting can occur. Any one of those conditions can result in dangerous pressure on brain tissue. Here are the different types of skull fractures:

  • Linear with a line extending from one part of the skull to the other. These are the most frequently seen skull fractures.
  • Comminuted with more than one piece of bone involved.
  • Depressed with the possibility of bone being pushed into the brain.
  • Compound with bone splinters and a high risk of brain injury from splinters
  • Basal skull fracture at the bottom of the skull.

Open and Closed Fractures

Skull fractures can be described as open or closed. With an open fracture, a break in the skin and bleeding will be seen. With a closed fracture, there is no skin break, and the wound doesn’t bleed.


Skull fractures aren’t always easy to see on x-rays, but they might be preliminarily diagnosed from the following symptoms:

  • Localized pain at the site of the fracture.
  • Swelling and bruising at the site.
  • A deep cut in the event of an open fracture that can put a victim at risk for infection, meningitis or encephalitis.
  • Bleeding behind the ears.
  • Blood or cerebrospinal fluid leaking from the ears or nose.

Only about five percent of all skull fractures are diagnosed by x-rays. Nearly all of them are diagnosed with the use of CT scans.

Treatment of Skull Fractures

The majority of skull fractures are going to heal on their own, especially if they’re linear fractures. Although recovery might take several months, the pain should be relieved in a week to 10 days. For any open fracture that doesn’t require surgery, antibiotics will be prescribed.


Should a skull fracture be severe or depressed, there is a strong likelihood that surgery will be needed. The procedure is known as a craniotomy. Here are some of the reasons why a craniotomy could be needed:

  • Hemorrhaging that creates pressure on the brain that could lead to disability or death.
  • A blood clot between the brain and skull that can also put pressure on the brain.
  • Bruising of the brain that can turn into a blood clot.
  • Skull fragments that penetrated the brain.

Any of these issues will be identified in a CT scan. Emergency surgery might be needed.

When Medical Care Should Be Sought

It’s recommended that anybody with anything more than a minor head injury be seen in an emergency room. They include victims of the following types of accidents:

  • Motorists, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists who have been hit by another vehicle.
  • Anybody with a previous brain surgery.
  • Anybody who has injured their head in a fall.

Contact a Louisville Skull Fracture Lawyer

You’ll want to speak with us about any skull fracture that you suffered in or around Louisville, Lexington, Southern Indiana or across the state of Kentucky as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else.

Special precautions must be taken, even with a linear skull fracture. Whether the fracture was caused by a motor vehicle collision, a pedestrian accident, bicycle accident or a fall, contact us as soon as possible to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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