When you suffer a blow to the head, most people fear damage like traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions or other forms of brain trauma. After all, the skull is thick and usually offers much protection.
But the skull is still bone, and any type of bone can get crushed or broken with enough force, strength and pressure. Unfortunately, this leads to the possibility of a fractured skull, which can have huge health ramifications.
Why are skull fractures an issue?
Merck Manual discusses the potential issues that skull fractures can cause. The biggest potential issue presents itself in the form of the threat a fractured skull can pose to the brain itself. Even a little chip of bone-breaking away from the skull can do damage to the soft tissues of the brain, and any damage to the brain can end up life-changing before you know it.
Potential signs of a skull fracture
Neurological symptoms will often quickly follow potential damage to the brain. This can include things like loss of balance or coordination, the inability to move one or more limbs, or even complete paralysis. Vision problems and trouble recognizing your surroundings or the people with you also serve as common red flags. Finally, you may undergo repeated seizures, vomiting or piercing headaches that worsen over time.
Skull fractures can also result in blood pooling in the cavities of your head, which shows up as bruising behind the ears or around the eyes. If blood builds up behind the eardrum, it can also burst, causing you to bleed from the ears. A skull fracture can also cause clear cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to leak from the nose or ears. Noting any of these symptoms should demand immediate medical attention.