Skull Fracture - Sports Injury

A skull fracture is when part of the bone of the skull is broken. Single fractures to the actual skull aren’t often too serious. The more important issue is that if you have a skull fracture then it is likely you have suffered from a head injury and there is the possibility that you could have incurred brain trauma. Broken pieces of skull can bruise or lacerate the brain and surrounding blood vessels causing haemorrhages – in other words the fragments can cut and damage the brain. One danger in particular is if a section of fragmented skull harms any cerebral arteries. These arteries are the main suppliers of blood to the brain, and if they become torn then the blood supply becomes limited. This can lead to health problems beyond brain trauma and can sometimes cause disability and in extreme cases can be fatal.

Spotting a Skull Fracture

It is often easier to spot a skull fracture on someone else than yourself simply because it is difficult to look at your own head, and if the head injury is bad enough you could be concussed or have impaired consciousness. If possible have someone with you if you have suffered a head injury, not only to help identify the level of damage but to help you if the injury is a serious one. You need to be aware of these symptoms which can signify a skull fracture:

  • A bruise or wound on the head at the point of impact
  • A soft depression or dimple on the head
  • Bruising or swelling around the ears or eyes
  • Bloodshot eyes or blood from the eye
  • Diluted blood or fluid coming from an ear or the nose
  • Deformation or asymmetry of the head or in the face
  • Developing deterioration of consciousness or response

If any of these symptoms present themselves then it is vital to contact a professional first aider or call an ambulance immediately. Never allow the casualty to ignore their head injury and carry on participating in the sport activity as there could be underlying damage from the accident which will not be instantly apparent. A qualified doctor is the best authority to determine the level of diagnosis and treatment the casualty will need.