Posted on August 17, 2010 · Posted in Brain Injury

Doctors actually froze the skull of a 25-year-old Utah man who sustained traumatic brain injury in a longboarding accident, according to Fox News.,2933,599652,00.html

The patient, Kyle Johnson, had 10 fractures in his skull from his accident, which happened when he and his friend decided to go longboarding down a hill in a suburb of Salt Lake City called Layton. He was in a coma and had some brain swelling, which suddenly became uncontrollable, while at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah.

Physicians decided to remove both sides of his skull, leaving just a small strip of bone in the middle of his head, to relieve the pressure on his swelling brain. That procedure is called a bilateral decompressive craniectomy

Doctors repaired Johnson’s fractured skull, and then put it on ice, so to speak. They put the bones in a deep freezer.

Typically, doctors would plant those skull bones into a patient’s belly, but sometimes calcium leaches from that bone during that process, according to Fox News. Then the skull bone is brittle when doctors remove it to put back in the patient’s head. Freezing the bone eliminates that problem.

While doctors waited for Johnson’s brain to stop swelling they put him in an induced coma. That was for a three-week period. Then physicians put the skull bones back onto Johnson’s head, Fox News reported. He woke up a week after that procedure.

The youth is undergoing cognitive therapy, to help him with his memory and other mental functions. But in all candor, after the brain trauma that he sustained, I doubt that Johnson will ever be the same as he was before his accident. 


About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447