Understanding and Treating Traumatic Brain Injury
We rely on our brains for every function in our bodies, making it the most important organ for us to protect. Unfortunately, this important organ is also fragile and can easily be injured says Dr. Tally of Neurospinal Associates in Bradenton, Florida. Traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of accidental death and disability, caused by automobile crashes, falls and other accidents. Traumatic brain injury survivors and their families need to understand how this injury can affect their future and what treatments are available.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
The brain is a very complex organ, thus injuries to the brain are also very complex. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur when the head is hit against an object or even when the body accelerates or decelerates quickly, causing the brain to move inside the skull. Since each part of the brain controls different functions, the area that is injured impacts what type of symptoms that the person will suffer. Some of many symptoms of a TBI include:
- Cognitive difficulties, such as memory loss, confusion, speech impairment and attention disorders
- Physical impairments, such as paralysis, seizures, body system control and chronic pain
- Emotional and behavioral changes
- Vision problems
The difficulty in diagnosing and treating TBI is that often symptoms are not immediately apparent. A person may sustain a TBI and seem to be recovering fine, then have symptoms appear days, weeks or even months later.
Due to the large scope of symptoms and problems that can be caused by TBI, the treatment will vary depending on the severity and area of the brain that is affected. Some patients with TBI will recover fully and need little if any treatment. Others may recover after surgery or some form of therapy. If the damage is permanent, most victims of this injury will need ongoing therapy and medical treatment for most of their lives.
However, there is hope for many TBI victims in the form of neurosurgery. If the damage to the brain can be reversed or mended by surgery, often the patient’s quality of life can greatly be enhanced. Neurosurgeons use advanced imaging to diagnose TBI and recommend surgical and other treatments.
One of the common TBI conditions is the intracranial hematoma, where the brain is bruised or begins to bleed. An experienced neurosurgeon can perform a craniectomy to relieve the bleeding, often saving the patient’s life and reducing the damage to the brain. While most neurosurgeries for TBI are performed right after the accident to save the life of the patient, there are many incidences where the surgery may be performed weeks or even months after an accident to repair the brain.
TBI is a serious condition that can have a permanent impact on the victim’s life. Many times a neurosurgeon will need to be consulted for immediate surgery, or if the symptoms continue to worsen after the accident. The good news is that there is hope and options to treat TBI that give every victim a chance to live their life to the fullest.