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5 Long Term Effects of Skull Fractures That You Should Know

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Head injuries can cause long-term brain damage that may alter the course of your life. When you suffer a TBI (traumatic brain injury), you may experience a skull fracture during the accident. The long-term effects of a skull fracture follow you long after you’ve healed from them.

Learn what causes skull fractures and TBIs and what long-term effects you may expect. If you’ve suffered a TBI, learn how our team at Accident Help Zone can connect you with the right doctor, whether a workplace injury doctor in New Jersey or New York’s best car accident doctors.

What Causes a Fractured Skull?

Most patients associate skull fractures with a severe head injury, usually expecting to see visible signs of significant damage. However, even a mild head injury may result in a skull fracture. The causes of skull fractures often include auto and work-related accidents:

Physical Assaults

Skulls may crack when they receive a heavy blow from a fist, blunt object, or other weapons.

Sports Injuries

Falling on hard pavement, colliding with teammates or opposing players, and other sports accidents may result in a skull fracture.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Skull fracture injuries often occur after falling down stairs, tripping, or slipping on wet or slick surfaces.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motorcyclists, truck drivers, and commuters may suffer a skull fracture during a vehicle accident.

Many patients who have an accident may believe their headache signals a concussion, but concussions can mimic the symptoms of a skull fracture.

If you sustain a head injury and suffer the following signs, you may have a skull fracture:

  • Bleeding from the impact site
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred or loss of speech
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty swallowing

Types of Skull Fractures

To properly gauge the severity of a skull fracture, doctors use the following system to distinguish between injuries:

  • Simple skull fractures, in which the skull breaks without causing external damage
  • Linear skull fractures, in which the fracture consists of one thin line with no additional damage
  • Depressed skull fractures, in which the damage causes bone displacement toward the brain
  • Compound skull fractures, in which the skin breaks and the skull splinters

Long-Term Effects of a Skull Fracture

Skull fractures may cause severe brain damage and require immediate attention followed by thorough medical care. Even with quick medical attention, many patients suffer from side effects of their skull fracture for years after their accident. Long-term effects of a skull fracture may include:

1. Cognitive Problems

After suffering from a TBI, like a skull fracture, patients may experience problems with cognitive function. They may have trouble paying attention to specific tasks and face difficulties with social interactions. Common cognitive abilities that suffer from a traumatic head injury include:

  • Concentration
  • Understanding information
  • Organizing or planning
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Speaking, reading, and writing
  • Remembering social cues

If you have suffered a TBI that affected your cognitive abilities, you can practice these tips to help you engage more easily with others:

  • Practice speaking with close friends and family to relearn social conversational skills.
  • Ask your conversational partner to speak slowly and clearly so you can understand them.
  • Take your time considering a response to ensure it makes sense.

2. Behavioral Changes

Your mind helps you process and express emotions and engage in the world around you. When you suffer a brain injury, you may have issues expressing yourself, processing emotions, and responding correctly to certain situations. You may experience behavioral changes, including:

  • Inability to contain extreme emotion
  • Personality changes
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Lack of emotion
  • Poor impulse control
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping or sudden onset of nightmares

Behavioral problems after a skull fracture vary and typically require the attention of a psychologist to pinpoint and treat. Neglecting treatment may result in dangerous self-medicating, leading to substance abuse problems that worsen the behavioral issues.

3. Memory Issues

A head injury can impact your ability to retain short-term or long-term memories. Memory problems may affect your work and personal interactions. Some symptoms of memory problems include:

  • Asking the same question multiple times
  • Using the wrong words while talking or writing
  • Misplacing your belongings in unusual places
  • Becoming easily distracted by sights, sounds, and smells
  • Losing your way on an everyday walking or driving route

Some ways you can improve memory issues after a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Make lists of important information and keep them handy.
  • Use your smartphone, tablet, or computer calendar to remember scheduled appointments.
  • When learning new information, reduce distractions so you can focus.
  • Maintain regular organization in your home, vehicle, and workplace.

4. Vision Problems

Skull fractures may disrupt the regular function of your eyes, impairing your vision and causing problems that last for the rest of your life. Vision issues can also make other parts of your life difficult, causing symptoms including

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Trouble reading
  • Difficulty moving your eyes
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Visual dysfunction after a TBI may require regular visits with an optometrist specializing in treating vision issues after a skull fracture.

5. Physical Pain

Skull fractures often cause recurring pain that requires long-term treatment. You may have to attend visits with occupational or physical therapists to help you adjust and learn how to use your body again. Common physical problems faced by skull fracture patients include:

  • Stiff neck
  • Bouts of nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Coordination issues

Addressing skull fractures quickly helps you avoid potential long-term chronic effects, but you may still suffer from painful physical problems even with timely treatment.

Find an Experienced Doctor Specializing in Treating TBI

Doctor Specializing in Treating TBI

When you experience a workplace or car accident traumatic brain injury, avoid the long-term effects of a skull fracture with doctors from Accident Help Zone’s online directory. Medical providers in our directory accept workers’ compensation, PIP (Personal Injury Protection), no-fault, and other health insurance plans.

Call toll-free (888) 412-8488 today to help you find an experienced TBI doctor near you. Same-day appointments may be available.