Per the CDC, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” People of all ages can develop a TBI, but children and older adults are the highest risk groups for head trauma.
Head trauma occurs when the brain moves around inside the skull during high-impact accidents. The brain’s rapid motion and impact with the inside of the skull causes brain cell damage, bleeding, bruises, fractures, nerve damage, and blood vessel damage. Multiple types of injuries can develop, including a concussion, hemorrhage, hematomas, skull fractures, contusions, or diffuse axonal injury (DAI). Many TBIs include a combination of head injuries.
Depending on the type and severity of injury, TBIs can cause physical, mental and psychological effects for as little as a few days, or they can cause permanent disability. Keep reading to learn more.
A TBI can occur from a direct blow to the head, a forceful back-and-forth motion of the head, or a penetrating object. Common events that lead to TBIs include:
Some TBIs aren’t caused by traumatic accidents. Strokes, infections and blood clots can also lead to head or brain trauma.
A traumatic brain injury can present with numerous signs and symptoms. In some cases, symptoms appear immediately after a traumatic accident. In other cases, signs and symptoms may not present until hours, days, or even weeks after the accident. If you’re involved in a traumatic accident — or if your child, spouse or loved one is involved in a traumatic accident — remain on the lookout for symptoms over the next several weeks.
The following are common signs to monitor for yourself and others.
A TBI is always a serious injury that requires medical attention. Keep in mind that it’s impossible to tell the extent of the damage by appearance alone. Even a mild brain injury causes brain cell damage and can significantly affect normal brain functioning. See a doctor or call 911 if you’re involved in an accident that results in a bump, blow, or jolt to the head.
If you seek medical care with a suspected TBI, your doctor will use the diagnostic phase to determine what type of injury you have and assess the severity of damage. Severe brain injuries can worsen quickly without care and treatment, so your doctor will move rapidly to make an accurate diagnosis and create a plan of action.
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the injury.
Many people with a moderate or severe brain injury require rehabilitation as part of the treatment process. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need help learning how to walk, talk, eat, dress and perform daily activities again. You may also need help from a psychologist or counselor to manage depression, anxiety, or anger related to your condition.
Every head injury is different, and people recover at different speeds. Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy way to heal a brain injury — it can take weeks, months, or even years.
Moderate and severe brain injuries often have long-term or permanent effects. Approximately 13.5 million individuals in the U.S. are living with a disability caused by a traumatic brain injury. Complications can affect every aspect of an individual’s life and well-being.
At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, we pair top-notch orthopedics and spine care with honesty and transparency to deliver the most satisfactory patient experience possible. If you’re living with acute pain or a chronic condition, stop letting it control your life. We’ll help you get the treatment you need to get back on your feet and back to doing the activities you love.
Call us today or reach out online to schedule your first appointment in our Jacksonville, FL clinic.