Obvious intracranial injuries include those with evidence of pathology within the brain itself intraparenchymal injuries as well as areas of bleeding around the brain but within the skull. The light area in the scan below indicates blood within the brain tissue, and the surrounding dark area shows associated edema. Both of these are considered to be intraparenchymal injuries. Contusions and hematomas found outside the skull are not considered intracranial but are frequently illustrated to help emphasize the force and direction of the trauma to the head.
In other situations, a craniotomy may be performed to allow the blood to be suctioned from the area surrounding the brain. A bone flap is created by first drilling three holes into the skull and then making cuts between them with a saw. This flap is removed and the blood is cleared from the areas above and beneath the dura. In some cases, the bone flap is not replaced if the brain is swollen or if there is a significant concern over recurrence of the hematoma. For a more detailed look at the craniotomy procedure, please review MediVisuals Craniotomy Surgery Animation.