The force of impact from a car accident can cause one or more of your bones to break. There are many different types of bone fractures, ranging in severity from the mild to the severe. Some types of fractures are specific to a particular kind of bone.
The severity of a fracture depends not only on its type but also the specific area of your body involved. Skull fractures can be more serious because of the risk of damage to your brain. Similarly, a displaced fracture of a rib could perforate one of your lungs. Here is an overview of the different types of skull fractures as well as those that can affect other bones.
Types of skull fractures
The skull is a spheroid shape that is hollow on the inside to allow space for your brain. Sometimes the force of a collision causes a portion of the skull to sink in. The degree to which this occurs determines the severity if the fracture. Known as a depressed fracture, this type is specific to the skull.
At the time of your birth, your skull consisted of eight cranial bones. As you grew up, these bones grew together to form the cranium. The seams or sutures, where the bones met and grew together are somewhat weaker than the rest of the skull. A diastatic fracture is one that occurs along one of these sutures.
If something hits the back of your head with enough force in a car accident, you may experience a basilar skull fracture, which is the most serious type. A linear skull fracture is the most common type and usually requires no medical intervention because no displacement occurs.
Other types of fractures
A comminuted fracture occurs when a bone does not break cleanly into two parts but instead shatters into three or more pieces. This type of fracture usually requires surgery to place hardware that holds the pieces together as they heal. An open fracture occurs when a bone fragment protrudes through the skin. Another name for this is a compound fracture, and it also usually requires surgical treatment.