Can you damage your skull?
A skull fracture is a fracture or break in the cranial (skull) bones. Although the skull is tough, resilient, and provides excellent protection for the brain, a severe impact or blow can result in fracture of the skull and may be accompanied by injury to the brain.
Symptoms of a head injury
With a head injury, it's common to have a headache and nausea. You may be dizzy or disoriented right afterward. You also may have problems focusing or remembering. Other symptoms include ringing in your ears, neck pain, emotional or vision problems.
A skull fracture is a head injury where there is a break in the skull bone. While mild breaks can cause few problems and heal over time, severe breaks can lead to complications including bleeding, brain damage, leaking of cerebrospinal fluid, infection and seizures.
It's possible to survive, and even thrive, in the face of a crushing brain injury, but the prognosis is heavily dependent upon the severity of the initial injury. Fortunately, crushing brain injuries are the least common variety of head trauma.
Normally the skull protects the brain from damage through its hard unyieldingness; the skull is one of the least deformable structures found in nature with it needing the force of about 1 ton to reduce the diameter of the skull by 1 cm.
Your mandible, or jawbone, is the largest, strongest bone in your face. It holds your lower teeth in place and you move it to chew your food.
“The most dangerous place to hit your head is on either side of your head, just above your ears. The skull is thinnest there, and there's an artery that can burst and cause direct bleeding in the brain.”
A simple skull fracture will heal on its own. It doesn't need a cast or splint and takes as little as three to four weeks to heal completely.
A skull fracture may go entirely unnoticed to a carer or even to a doctor if there are no clinical signs. A skull fracture can only be seen on an x-ray and so if there is no reason to x-ray (no swelling/bruising) it may not be found.
Unlike most bones in your body, your skull doesn't have bone marrow. This makes the skull very strong and difficult to break. A broken skull is unable to absorb the impact of a blow, making it more likely that there'll also be damage to your brain.
Can my brain hit my skull?
Even if the skull is not fractured, the brain can hit the inside of the skull and be bruised. The head may look fine, but problems could result from bleeding or swelling inside the skull. The spinal cord is also likely to be injured from falls from a significant height or ejection from a vehicle.
If the hit person loses consciousness and falls, they may hit their head on the ground or a piece of furniture. The sound will be something like two snooker balls colliding. This might result in a fractured skull.
Regardless of footwear and gender, it can be claimed that a forceful stomp or jump to someone's head supported on the ground can cause facial and skull fractures. Thus, forceful stomps or jumps to someone's head can cause potential fatal injuries independent of footwear, gender, or fitness level.
The average skull thickness for men is 6.5 millimeters, and the average for women is 7.1 mm. The average front-to-back measurement is 176 mm for men and 171 mm for women, and the average width is 145 mm for men and 140 mm for women.
The pterion is a craniometric point at the point where the greater wing of the sphenoid bone, the parietal bone and the frontal bone meet. It is the weakest point of the skull. The middle meningeal artery is located underneath it on the internal surface of the skull.
Your bones, pound for pound, are 4 times stronger than concrete. A muscle called the diaphragm controls the human breathing process. Bone is stronger than some steel. Bones make up only 14% of our weight.
Bone typically has an elastic modulus that is like concrete but it's 10 times stronger in compression. As for the stainless-steel comparison, bone has a similar compressive strength but is three times lighter.
At about 4 millimeters thick, it's the “thinnest bone in the entire cranial vault,” she says; according to a forensic case report on “Intracranial stab injuries,” it takes 255 Newtons to penetrate the area.
Second, there's more than one way to crack a skull. Some reports suggest it could take as little as 16 pounds (73 newtons) of force to cause a simple fracture. A Japanese study put the figure for a full-on crushing as high as 1,200 pounds (5,400 newtons).
The weakest and softest bone in the human is the clavicle or collar bone.
Should I go to hospital if I hit my head?
Emerman says patients who've suffered a head injury should visit the Emergency Department immediately if they: Lost consciousness or became confused/disoriented after they were injured. Suffered the injury at a high speed (car or bike accident, a steep fall, etc.) Are vomiting or feel nauseated.
A concussion is a minor brain injury that is caused by an impact to the head, shaking, or a sudden change in movement, like whiplash. Oftentimes, concussions cannot be seen through an imaging test, but they should still be considered serious and should be treated as so.
In some cases, the skull is dented inward so that fragments of shattered bone are pressed against the surface of the brain. This is called a depressed skull fracture. In most cases, a skull fracture causes a bruise (contusion) on the surface of the brain under the fracture.
- Headache that does not go away.
- Nausea or vomiting that does not go away.
- Inability to concentrate or remember.
- Slurred speech.
- Trouble walking.
- Weakness on one side or area of the body.
- Clear fluid or blood leaking from nose or ear.
- Bruises around the eyes.
"It would be impossible for even the strongest human to break the skull through compressive forces exerted by any means (either with their hands bilaterally or by stepping [on] it) in any portion of the skull," he wrote.
Most medical professionals say it is fine—sometimes even advised—to let people sleep after incurring a head injury. The American Academy of Family Physicians states it is not necessary to keep a person awake after a head injury.
A hard blow to the head can shake your brain inside the skull. The result: bruises, broken blood vessels, or nerve damage to the brain. A hard hit that doesn't cause bleeding or an opening in your skull could be a closed brain injury. An open brain injury is when an object penetrates the skull and goes into your brain.
Our heads are comparably brittle to the inner shell of the coconut.
The cranial bones are mostly much harder than a watermelon.
The bones of the skull slot together like a jigsaw puzzle. In adults, all but one of these bones are locked in place. This makes the skull very strong.
Which race has the thickest skull?
The skull thickness in Black and White adults of both sexes was studied in Rhodesia by two methods. White women have the thickest, and White men the thinnest skulls.
Conclusion: The thickest area of the skull is the parasagittal posterior parietal area in male skulls and the posterior parietal area midway between the sagittal and superior temporal line in female skulls. An accurate map of the skull thickness representing the normative data of the studied population was developed.
On average, the head of an adult human weighs about 10 to 11 pounds (4.5 to 5 kg). That's a ton (no not an actual ton) of weight for your neck to be holding up any time you're using your head.
- Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours.
- Persistent headache or headache that worsens.
- Repeated vomiting or nausea.
- Convulsions or seizures.
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes.
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears.
- Inability to awaken from sleep.
Head injuries may cause bleeding in the brain tissue and the layers that surround the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, epidural hematoma). Symptoms of a head injury can occur right away or may develop slowly over several hours or days.
In very slow-growing subdural hematomas, there may be no noticeable symptoms for more than 2 weeks after the bleeding starts.
Blood from the burst vessel exerts pressure on the brain, cutting off oxygen to cells and, ultimately, killing them. Blood also irritates brain tissues, creating a bruise or bump called a hematoma, which can also place pressure on brain tissue. Occasionally, you won't feel any initial symptoms.
A medical exam is the first step to diagnose a potential brain injury. Assessment usually includes a neurological exam. This exam evaluates thinking, motor function (movement), sensory function, coordination, eye movement, and reflexes. Imaging tests, including CT scans and MRI scans, cannot detect all TBIs.
Some mild TBI and concussion symptoms may appear right away, while others may not appear for hours or days after the injury. Symptoms generally improve over time, and most people with a mild TBI or concussion feel better within a couple of weeks. Symptoms of mild TBI and concussion are different for each person.
Skull shape varies naturally from person to person. However, a dent in the head may sometimes develop. This dent can have a variety of causes, including trauma, birth injuries, and some types of bone tumor. If a person is concerned about a dent in their head, they should see a doctor.