A traumatic brain injury is a life-altering and unfortunate event. For those who have suffered one and their loved ones, the road to recovery is laden with questions and unknowns. Many may not even know the right questions to ask, let alone find the answers. We can give you some information that may help answer some of these questions while undergoing traumatic brain injury treatment or recoverying from it.
So, what exactly is TBI, and how long does brain injury recovery take? Let’s start at the beginning and define Traumatic Brain Injury.
TBI an injury to the head that can cause long term damage to the brain. It is typically caused by an external force or mechanism (such as a blow to the head). This type of intracranial injury requires urgent medical attention and can be dangerous or life-threatening!! Unfortunately, TBI is relatively common, with over 200,000 cases per year in the United States.
Symptoms of TBI are often acute and serious, including:
While this is only a partial list of symptoms, anyone who has had head trauma should see a medical professional ASAP. These symptoms can lead to cognitive problems such as Alexia, memory problems, mood swings, and even coma. If left untreated, TBI can result in:
With TBI so serious, what does the path to recovery look like, and how long is the TBI recovery timeline? Depending on the gravity of the brain injury, the TBI recovery timeline can vary. Doctors and emergency medical personnel assess the initial severity of a brain injury, using a 15-point scale called the Glascow Coma Scale. Traumatic Brain Injury treatment can vary from patient to patient and may require a lengthy recovery time. Other tools doctors use include:
There are different stages of brain injury recovery, and one clinical tool doctors use to rate how patients suffering from TBI are recovering is the Rancho Los Amigos Levels of Cognitive Functioning Scale. The 10 levels of recovery on this scale include:
Many symptoms of TBI can be treated by a process called neuroplasticity. This process refers to the brain’s ability to repair neural connections and regain function after TBI and why doctors often encourage so much therapy during the early stages of recovery.
The TBI recovery timeline is not set in stone, and one stage may require more time than the one before it or the one after it. Be patient with your physiatrist or physical/occupational therapist, and be diligent with your therapy to maximize your brain injury recovery.
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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