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Growing skull fractures: progressive evolution of brain damage and effectiveness of surgical treatment

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The growing skull fracture of childhood is a well-known but variously interpreted syndrome. Attempts have been made to find different pathogeneses for clinical and pathological patterns that are really successive phases of a single process, arising from the interaction of three basic conditions: (1) head injury with a large gaping fracture; (2) corresponding dural tear; (3) occurrence nearly always in infancy (the first year of life or period of maximum brain growth). This combination of factors alters the normal distribution of the intracranial pressure vectors and the fracture behaves like a “neosuture” with abnormal growth of the skull on the injured side. Simultaneously, the ventricular system tends to deform, dilating and shifting towards the side of the fracture. Three cases, successfully treated at a very late stage, are described. The good surgical results confirm the validity of the surgical method and its underlying theoretical basis.

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Correspondence to G. B. Scarfò.

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Scarfò, G.B., Mariottini, A., Tomaccini, D. et al. Growing skull fractures: progressive evolution of brain damage and effectiveness of surgical treatment. Child's Nerv Syst 5, 163–167 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00272120

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Key words

  • Infant trauma
  • Diastatic linear skull fracture
  • Dural tear
  • Post-traumatic leptomeningeal cyst
  • Post-traumatic porencephaly
  • Post-craniectomy ventricular enlargement
  • Growing skull fracture