Elevation of Depressed Skull Fracture

What is a elevation of depressed skull fracture?

A Depressed Skull Fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in the skull caused by a head injury. Broken fragments of skull can lacerate or bruise the brain or damage blood vessels.

A cut is made in the skin so they can access the skull fracture. Part of the skull bone may need to be removed to access the bone fragments. The operation requires the reassembling of the broken bone fragments with metallic plates and screws.

Metallic mesh or bone cement may be required to improve a cosmetic result for shaping the skull. The skin will be closed with stitches or staples.

My Anaesthetic

This procedure will require a General Anaesthetic.

See About your Anaesthetic information sheet for information about the anaesthetic and the risks involved. If you have any concerns, talk these over with your doctor.

If you have not been given an information sheet, please ask for one.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are some risks/complications with this procedure.

Common risks include:

  • Infection. This may need antibiotics and further treatment.
  • IV cannula. This may cause minor pain, bruising and/or infection at the injection site. This may require treatment with antibiotics.
  • Small areas of the lung may collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increase risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
  • Skull deformity. This may require further surgery at a later stage.

Uncommon risks include:

  • A heart attack because of the strain on the heart or a stroke.
  • Clots in the leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) with pain and swelling. Rarely part of this clot may break off and go into the lungs.
  • Bleeding. If bleeding occurs further surgery may be required. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin)
  • Fluid leakage from the brain can occur after the operation. This may require further surgery.
  • Epilepsy which may require medication. This condition may be temporary or permanent.
  • Permanent numbness or weakness due to nerve injury.

Rare risks include:

  • Death is rare due to this procedure.