Skull and Facial Fracture

(Head Injury; Open Skull Fracture; Closed Skull Fracture; Fracture, Skull and Facial; Maxillary Fracture; Le Fort Fracture; Mandible Fracture; Zygomatic 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.
  • Orbital fractures involve the bones around the eyes
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
skull fracture zygo and eye socket
© Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Skull and/or facial fractures are caused by direct trauma to your head. Trauma can be caused by:
  • Falls
  • Car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accidents
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Penetrating trauma
  • Domestic violence, or child or elder abuse
  • Sports injury
  • Gunshot

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase the chance of a skull and/or facial fracture include:
  • Children up to 4 years old and advancing age
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Not wearing a bike or motorcycle helmet
  • Occupations with risk of falls from heights
  • Playing sports without proper head protection
  • Health conditions that increase the risk of falls
Specific factors that may also increase a child's risk of a skull fracture include:
  • Previous head injury
  • Wheelchair use
  • Car seat related accidents, such as drops, flip-overs, or falls

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
October 2015

Insomnia can make your days miserable and a cure can be hard to find. There are some medications but there is some worry with side effects and the potential for addiction. Music is side effect free and according to this study may help you find sleep.

dot separator
previous editions

CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 2015

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »