, Volume 147, Issue 4, pp 355-366
Date: 03 Mar 2005

Subcranial approach in the surgical treatment of anterior skull base trauma

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Summary

Fractures of the anterior skull base, because of the region’s anatomical relationships, are readily complicated by neurological damage to the brain or cranial nerves. This review highlights the use of a subcranial approach in the operative treatment of injuries of the anterior skull base and compares it to the more traditional neurosurgical transcranial approach. The extended anterior subcranial approach takes advantage of the specific features of injuries in this region and allows direct access to the central anterior cranial base in order to repair fractures, close CSF fistulae and relieve of optic nerve compression. It avoids extensive frontal lobe manipulation. The success of the approach in achieving the aims of surgery with low morbidity is reviewed.