If you’re involved in a front-end crash and hit your head on the steering wheel, the windshield, a side window or the dashboard, there is a risk that you could have a skull injury. Skull injuries may coincide with other serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, so they need to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.
There are several kinds of skull fractures that a person could end up with after a crash. These might include:
- Depressed skull fractures
- Linear skull fractures
- Diastatic skull fractures
- Basilar skull fractures
Of these, the most common kinds of linear skull fractures. Linear breaks crack the skull, but the bone doesn’t move. Usually, people with this kind of fracture need to be monitored in the hospital but can go back to their usual activities within a couple of days. Diastatic fractures are most often seen in infants and occur across the skulls formed suture lines. They may or may not be serious.
Depressed and basilar skull fractures
Depressed skull fractures occur when the bone pushes inward from trauma. This kind of injury may require a surgery to correct the damage. Basilar fractures may be open or closed. Compound fractures where the skin has been broken and the bone is visible need to be treated as an emergency. The risk of an infection taking hold is high with these injuries, and the bone may need to be surgically repaired or put back into place.
What should you know about the long-term effect of skull fractures?
Depending on the kind of fracture and if it has influenced the brain, you could be looking at long-term implications from this type of injury. Getting emergency help is the right choice, because the fracture could put pressure on the brain or cause bleeding or swelling that has a significant impact on the structure of the skull or the brain itself.
Whether or not you need surgery will depend on the type of fracture, the severity of the fracture, your age, health and medical history. Recovery following treatment will depend on the treatments received and how the body responds to it.