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A skull fracture is any type of fracture that occurs in one of the bones of the skull, which is more common after a strong blow to the head or due to a fall from a great height.
In these cases, the development of head trauma is also common, which happens when the brain is also injured, which can lead to fainting and even more serious complications, such as loss of vision, loss of movement in some limb and, until, eat.
For this reason, a skull fracture is considered an emergency situation that should be treated and evaluated as soon as possible in the hospital, even if it is not certain that a fracture has actually occurred. However, if there has been a fall from a great height, it is recommended to call medical help and avoid moving the person, as this can cause spinal injuries.
Here's what to do in case of a fall from a great height.
Symptoms of a skull fracture can vary depending on the site affected, however, the most common include:
- Headache at impact site;
- "Rooster" on the head or small bump;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Fainting or confusion;
- Loss of balance.
In addition, there may still be more serious symptoms such as bleeding from the nose, eyes or ears, very intense headache, exaggerated swelling of the site and presence of purple spots on the scalp or face.
In any case, you should always go to the hospital after hitting your head hard, to do a neurological evaluation and assess if there is any type of brain injury that needs to be treated.
How to confirm the diagnosis
The diagnosis of a skull fracture should always be confirmed in the hospital, as a cranial X-ray is necessary to confirm the presence of the fracture, especially if there is no change in the shape of the skull. In addition, other tests, such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, are often necessary to identify whether brain lesions have appeared that need to be treated.
Main types of skull fracture
Skull fracture types can vary between complete or partial, depending on whether there was a complete fracture of the bone or not. Furthermore, depending on the site and structures it affects, the fracture can also be classified as follows:
- Closed fracture: happens when the scalp remains intact, without any wound;
- Open fracture: appears when there is a wound in the scalp through which a piece of bone can come out;
- Depression fracture: when both parts of the bone turn inwards, towards the brain;
- Basal fracture: appears in the region of the base of the skull around the eyes, nose, ears and top of the neck.
Normally, in the type of basal fracture it is possible to observe a very common characteristic of this type of fracture, which is called "panda eyes" due to the appearance of purple spots around the eyes.
How the treatment is done
The treatment of a skull fracture is different from any other fracture in the body. For example, when the fracture is not very large and does not cause symptoms, the doctor may only recommend constant surveillance to ensure that the bones are healing, without the need for specific treatment. However, during recovery you should avoid any type of blow to the head.
If symptoms appear, the doctor assesses the complexity of the fracture and assesses whether it is better to have surgery or keep the fracture healing naturally, recommending only a few remedies to relieve the symptoms, especially the headache.
However, if the fracture is more complex, surgery may be necessary to correct the deformation and allow the bone to heal properly.