Temporal bone fractures. Review of 90 cases

Arch Otolaryngol. 1983 May;109(5):285-8. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1983.00800190007002.


Of 1,300 consecutive head-injured patients admitted to the hospital over a 20-month time period, 118 were found to have skull fractures, of which 22% involved the temporal bone. These figures form part of a larger study of 90 temporal bone fractures treated over a six-year period from 1975 through 1981. The most common cause of a temporal bone fracture was a motor vehicle accident occurring in 40/90 (44%) patients. Pertinent physical findings, occurring alone or in combination, were a hemotympanum, bleeding from the ear canal, tympanic membrane perforation, facial paralysis, and CSF otorrhea. The diagnosis of temporal bone fractures is best made clinically and radiographically. The early care of temporal bone fractures is directed toward the treatment of CSF otorrhea and immediate onset facial paralysis. The delayed care is primarily concerned with hearing rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Otorrhea / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Facial Nerve Injuries
  • Facial Paralysis / etiology
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skull Fractures / complications
  • Skull Fractures / diagnosis*
  • Skull Fractures / therapy
  • Temporal Bone / injuries*
  • Vertigo / etiology