Since I work with brain injury patients, Traumatic Brain Injury is my favorite topic to discuss and write. For me, it is difficult to put down words on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as there is so much involved with TBI. But I also don’t want to write five pages long article and bore all my readers. So I am going to try to keep this a short and sweet article. In this article, I am going to discuss definition, types and some basic information on TBI. I discussed different treatment approaches to TBI here. So let’s start!
Brain injury is anything that can impact the normal function of a brain. An acquired brain injury is when an injury happens after birth. Here the brain is normally developed already. There are two types of acquired brain injury: Traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury.
In TBI, there is an alteration in brain function or brain pathology by an external force. Two types of Traumatic brain injury are an open or closed injury. In Open TBI a skull fracture causes injury to the brain. Examples of open TBIs are a gunshot wound, fall, high-velocity sports accidents or stabbing wounds.
Closed TBI is where there is an internal injury to the brain due to hemorrhage, laceration or contusion. Examples of a closed TBI are a stroke, infection, ischemia, hypoxia (causing anoxic brain injury), etc.
A fall, gunshot wound, infection, ischemia, hypoxia, seizure disorders, assaults to brain, violence etc can cause a traumatic injury to the brain.
Recovery from brain injury depends on many factors. Few of these factors are the severity of an injury, the extent of an injury, age, time of the injury, part of the brain injured, and how quickly a person received medical help. The types of a brain injury are mild, moderate and severe. Many factors including the above ones, determine the length of the recovery period. Usually moderate to severe TBI recovery takes many months to several years. Also, clinicians expect some residuals from the injury. The extent of how much function a person will regain and in what area is difficult to explain. This is an unknown area for therapists that still needs some more research. Rehabilitation of brain injury starts at ER and goes through acute care, sub-acute care, and long-term care phases.