A penetrating injury, also called an open head injury, results when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. A perforating brain injury is a type of penetrating injury in which a high-velocity missile enters the brain and then exits it.

Causes of Penetrating Injury

Penetrating injury can be caused by high-velocity objects such as bullets, but can also be caused by low-velocity objects such as knives and other weapons. One of the most common causes of penetrating injury is skull fracture, in which a piece of bone from the skull penetrates the brain and causes damage to either the left brain function or the right brain function. Skull fractures can be caused by a blow to the head, car accidents, a fall, or a sports or athletic injury.

Prognosis of Penetrating Injury

As a general rule of thumb, high-velocity injuries are associated with more long-term damage than low-velocity injuries. Penetrating injuries from bullets, for example, have a mortality rate of 92%. Perforating injuries have a prognosis that’s even more grim.

Patients who live can expect to have issues related to the area of the brain that’s damaged. Approximately 50 percent of patients with penetrating injuries experience

post-traumatic epilepsy

.