Diastatic fractures are skull fractures that occur more primarily in children under three years than
adults. According to research, about 61,000 fatalities result from skull fractures annually (CDC,
2019). Diastatic fractures happen by the stature lines of the skull, which are located between the
bones in the head, causing the statures to widen. Children are more prone to these fractures as
their statures are still developing and not yet fused. In adults, these fractures result from severe
head injuries, and lambdoidal stature is affected most as it does not fuse until the age of 60. This
essay discusses the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of diastatic fractures.
Diastatic fractures result from trauma in the skull when a head injury can be accidental and non-
accidental. According to research, about 90% of head injuries are mild. (McGrath, 2021) .The
most common cause of head injury is fall and motor vehicle accidents. Other causes include
injuries resulting from sports and other physical activities. Non-accidental reasons are occasional
and happen during birth in newborns. Injuries resulting from abuse are a contributing cause.
A brief background check can help a physician assess a patient with a head injury to determine
the risk of traumatic brain injury or a skull fracture. To fully understand the extent of the head
injury, a comprehensive assessment and testing are conducted. These tests include computed
tomograms (CT), X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and Ultrasound (US).
Computerized tomography (CT) scan is recommended first. The test was performed in the
emergency room. It gives a comprehensive view of the brain thus is a quick way to visualize and
confirm the presence of fractures in the skull and bleeding in the brain. The tests are more
detailed than the X-ray, which applies magnetic energy rays to create a film from the images of
body structures and organs. Ultrasound (US) is also a test conducted to detect diastatic fractures,
especially in young patients further studies have questioned its efficiency. This factor places an
MRI as the ideal method. It poses less risk to radiation exposure as it uses magnets and radio
waves to create detailed visual photos of an organ or a body structure. A physician should
consider all risk factors before determining the ideal method to be applied when evaluating
Treatment and Management
The treatment of diastatic fractures depends on the patient's age, the extent of injury, and
tolerance to specific types of medication and therapy. In most cases, these fractures do not
require surgery but require close monitoring and follow-up by the physician. Some of these
fractures heal naturally. A physician can prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs to
a patient in the presence of pain and other symptoms.
Conclusively, diastatic fractures are more common in children and infants more than adults. A
more significant percentage of these cases result from accidents. Diastatic fractures are detected
by carrying out X-ray, MRI, US, and CT. The diagnosis and treatment of these fractures are
dependent on age and risk factors, among others. The MRI should be the ideal method of
diagnosis as it poses fewer radiological risks yet is efficient. Surgery should only be considered a
treatment method if all other methods are ineffective as it poses a more significant threat to brain
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Report to Congress on the management of traumatic brain injury in children.
Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2018.
Alexis, R. J., Jagdish, S., Sukumar, S., Pandit, V. R., Palnivel, C., & Antony, M. J. (2018).
Clinical Profile and Autopsy Findings in Fatal Head Injuries. Journal of
emergencies, trauma, and shock, 11(3), 205–210.
Adepoju, A., & Adamo, M. A. (2017). Posttraumatic complications in pediatric skull fracture:
dural sinus thrombosis, arterial dissection, and cerebrospinal fluid leakage. Journal
of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, 20(6), 598-60
McGrath A, Taylor RS. Pediatric Skull Fractures. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls
[Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: