Skull and Facial Fracture
Skull and facial fractures are broken bones of the head and face. Injury can result in damage to the brain.
Types of skull fractures include:
- Simple—the bone is broken, but skin is intact
- Linear—the break is in a thin, straight line through the depth of the skull bone
- Depressed—the bone of the skull is crushed and pushed in toward the brain
- Comminuted—a complex fracture with bone splintering and tearing of the skin
Facial fractures can occur in any of the face’s bones. They are named for specific areas of the face:
- Maxillary fractures involve the upper jaw. They are classified as Le Fort I-V fractures based on their specific location on the maxillary bone.
- Mandible fractures involve the lower jaw.
- Zygomatic fractures involve the cheekbones.
Fractures may either be:
- Closed—the fracture does not break the skin
- Open—the fracture breaks through the skin
Both skull and facial fractures may be life-threatening conditions. They require immediate medical treatment.
Fractures in the Zygomatic Arch and Orbit
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Skull and/or facial fractures are caused by direct trauma to your head. Trauma can be caused by:
- Car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident
- Blunt force trauma
- Penetrating trauma
- Domestic violence, child or elder abuse
- Sports injury
Last reviewedAugust 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.