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What is a Basilar Fracture? - A basilar or basal skull fracture is a break in the bones at the base of the skull, usually involving the temporal, occipital, sphenoid or ethmoid bones. Although relatively uncommon, comprising less than five-percent of the total injuries to the brain, this type of fracture is dangerous in that it is primarily a cause of myriad other complicated injuries.
Basilar skull fractures typically occur when the skull moves quickly on an otherwise stable body. Automobile accidents cause the majority of basilar skull fractures, and what is commonly known as whiplash (although in this case it is severe and quite violent) is the primary cause of basilar fractures. It can either be caused by the whip-like movement of the skull forward so fast and violently that it cracks at the base of the skull; or it can be caused in an accident when the skull is pushed downward and the spinal column is pushed up and into the skull. Most basilar fractures caused in such a manner are deadly.
But there can be milder forms of basilar fractures where the patient is still alert and conscious that must be diagnosed through symptomatic exams.
Basilar Fracture symptoms include:
- Bruising of around the eyes
- The movement of face and eye muscles
- The ability to swallow
- The ability to hear
- Fluid leaking from the ear or nose
- Bleeding from the ear canal
- Bruising behind the ear
Neurologic exams will also check cranial nerves, which control muscles in the face and eyes, along with swallowing. An assessment of arm and leg muscle strength will also be checked in conjunction with touch, vibration, pain and coordination. A CAT or CT scan will then assess any bleeding in the brain or other abnormalities.
Since a basilar skull fracture is a result of a break in the base of the skull, fractures obviously vary depending on how the trauma has occurred. Bones may be broken around the hole in the base of the skull (the foramen magnum), which is especially critical since it’s where the spinal cord joins the brain stem. Injuries of this area of the skull can involve blood vessels and nerves in and around the spine, which can have lasting irreparable consequences.
In addition, cranial nerves can also be damaged, which can cause palsy, which can affect facial nerves and other neurological side-effects. Patients with basilar skull fractures are also likely to get meningitis, and use of normally effective antibiotics is not always possible.
Still, some of these may problems may be medically alleviated. Financially, however, it will likely be a difficult process. Any relief from the situation will likely be critical. Having an attorney with a focus in brain injury litigation is critical in providing you the opportunity to get the financial compensation you deserve. You will not pay a thing unless you win your lawsuit. If you win or settle your lawsuit, The Doan Law Firm will charge a percentage of the compensation amount, leaving you free from the costs of the actual court case.
The Doan Law Firm can assist in determining damages owed you after a brain injury. The Doan Law Firm knows that although accidents don’t wait for daylight hours to happen. However, we’re available to answer your phone call any time, day or night, at (800) 349-0000. Contact us today to discuss your needs.
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