Short-term outcomes of skull fracture: A population-based study of survival and neurologic complications

W. C. Wiederholt, L. J. Melton, J. F. Annegers, J. D. Grabow, E. R. Laws, D. M. Ilstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


All Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents who experienced brain injury from 1935 through 1979 were identified and their medical records reviewed for survival and neurologic outcome. Minimum inclusion criteria included loss of consciousness or post-traumatic amnesia or neurologic evidence of brain injury or skull fracture. Of 4,660 cases identified, skull fractures were observed in 28%. Over half of brain-injured patients who died did so within 24 hours of trauma; among 1-day survivors, subsequent survival was moderately impaired, especially in older individuals. Mortality was lowest in subjects without a skull fracture and increased with fracture severity. Associated neurologic injuries, complications, and deficits were generally more common in patients with skull fracture than those without and were much more frequent with more severe skull fractures. The types of neurologic deficits differed little between those with and without fractures, except that subjects with complicated skull fractures had higher proportions of special sensory deficits and multiple deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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