Fractures of the Skull

In fractures of the bones of the skull, some of the fragments are very likely to become depressed upon the brain, occasioning loss of consciousness, or other disturbances of the nervous system. Sometimes blood-vessels are enlarged, so that a large clot is formed in the brain, giving rise to symptoms similar to those which result from apoplexy.

The proper treatment of these cases consists in lifting up or removing altogether the depressed portion of bone, an operation known as trephining.

Fractures of the Spine

When the back, or spinal column, is broken, the spinal cord is almost always more or less injured, the result of which is paralysis of the lower extremities. In these cases the bowels and bladder, as well as the lower extremities, are usually paralyzed. The patient should be kept quiet in bed. The urine should be drawn with a catheter, and the bladder should be washed out daily.

Complete recovery is very doubtful.

Fracture of the Nose

Fracture of the bones of the nose is readily recognized by the characteristic deformity. Great swelling usually occurs in a very short time, sometimes making it difficult to tell whether there is fracture or not. Hot fomentations should be applied at once, as by this means pain and swelling, and subsequent inflammation may be very much diminished. A pencil should be passed up into the nose, and by its aid, together with manipulation by the fingers, the depressed bone should be lifted into position. The bones may be held in place by means of a little wooden plug smeared with tallow, or plugs of cotton saturated with sweet oil.

Fracture of the Lower Jaw

This is generally the result of a blow upon the face. It may be most easily recognized by an examination of the teeth, which are thrown out of line when the jaw is fractured. After the broken parts are put in proper position, a bandage should be applied as shown in Fig. 368.

Fig. 368. Bandage For Fracture of the Lower Jaw.

Fig. 368. Bandage For Fracture of the Lower Jaw.

Fracture of the Upper Jaw

Fracture of the upper jaw occurs very rarely. The parts should be put in as good position as possible, and held in place by adhesive straps and bandages.