Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Depressed Skull Fracture

  • Beth RushEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_233


Depressed skull fracture is a fracture or break of the cranial bone that results in depression of the bone fragment into the underlying brain tissue.

Current Knowledge

This may result in bruising because of compression of the underlying brain tissue or disruption to the underlying cerebral blood vessels. Blood clots can form under the surface of the skull (epidural or subdural hematoma). Individuals with depressed skull fracture may develop raccoon eyes or a battle sign that tips the clinician off about the presence of a skull fracture. Depressed skull fracture is common after blunt trauma to the head (i.e., direct blow with a hammer or any other hard object).

Individuals with depressed skull fracture are at the increased risk of developing brain infection, as the brain tissue may be directly exposed to the outside environment. As such, emergent management of the skull fracture, with removal of bone fragment and appropriate dressing of the skull wound, is pursued, typically...

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References and Readings

  1. Braakman, R. (1972). Depressed skull fracture: Data, treatment, and follow-up in 225 consecutive cases. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry, 35, 395–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Graham, D. I., Saatman, K. E., Marklund, N., Conte, V., Morales, D., Royo, N., & McIntosh, T. K. (2006). The neuropathology of trauma. In R. W. Evans (Ed.), Neurology and trauma (2nd ed., pp. 45–94). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Victor, M., & Ropper, A. H. (2001). Principles of neurology (7th ed., pp. 925–953). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychiatry and PsychologyMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA