Temporal bone fractures: Analysis of 220 cases

P. H. Chen, W. Y. Chao, C. Y. Ou, J. L. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Temporal bone fractures are not uncommonly encountered in the patients with head injuries at the emergent service. Methods: A retrospective study of 220 patients with temporal bone fractures over a 4- year period at National Cheng Kung University Hospital was done. The study was to examine the incidence of complications resulting from temporal bone fractures and to analyze the outcomes of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) otorrhea and facial paralysis. Results: The most common cause of a temporal bone fracture was traffic accident. Pertinent physical findings were hemotympanum, bloody otorrhea, tympanic membrane rupture, and CSF otorrhea. CSF otorrhea was found in 5 patients (2%). Except that one patient died shortly after arrival due to severe head injury, the CSF otorrhea recovered spontaneously without complication in others. Facial paralysis was found in 31 patients (13%). Those with delayed-onset and incomplete facial paralysis had good recovery. However, recovery in those with immediate-onset or complete facial paralysis was poor. Hearing test showed prevalent sensorineural damage in those patients with sensorineural and mixed type hearing loss. Conclusions: All cases with CSF otorrhea recovered with conservative treatment. Recovery in those with immediate-onset or complete facial paralysis was poor so that early surgical intervention may be indicated. Furthermore, trauma of the inner ear and auditory nerve resulted in hearing impairment is not negligible in patients with temporal bone fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Otolaryngological Society of the Republic of China
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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