Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a violent blow to the head. A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury, but severe cases of TBI may permanently change a patient’s life. A brain injury is different from a broken limb or punctured lung. An injury in these areas limit the use of a specific part of your body, but your personality and mental abilities remain unchanged.

Traumatic brain injuries, however, do not heal like other injuries. Recovery is a functional recovery, based on mechanisms that remain uncertain. No two brain injuries are alike and the consequence of two similar injuries may be very different. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days or weeks after the injury.

Fortunately, there are many kinds of treatments available for TBI. At Athens Brain & Spine, we specialize in craniotomies for hemorrhages and treatment of skull fractures. Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a type of stroke caused by bleeding within the brain tissue itself – a very life-threatening situation. This can be caused by head trauma, leading to an interruption of blood supply to the brain and causing an oxygen shortage. A craniotomy will let the blood clot and attempt to stop the source of the bleeding by cutting a small hole in the skull with a drill to expose the brain.

In the case of a skull fracture, surgery is only needed in severe cases. Surgery is more often a required course of treatment for depressed skull fractures. If the depression is severe enough, surgery may be necessary to correct it. Surgery may also be necessary if the depression puts pressure on the brain or if there is cerebrospinal fluid leakage.