Is Traumatic Brain Injury Permanent?

What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic Brain Injury is a condition in which the functioning of the brain gets affected after a head injury. A Traumatic Brain Injury can be caused when the head is struck by an object with great force. This may be falling from a decent height on the head where there is significant impact on the head from the floor. It can also be caused during a baseball game where the hard ball may hit the head. A gunshot wound to the head may also result in Traumatic Brain Injury.

A Traumatic Brain Injury may lead to significant damage to the brain cells at the region of the impact. A violent jerk of the head may cause damage to the brain cells due to sudden back and forth movement of the head. There may also be rupture of the tissues as a result of a severe jolt to the head where the head is rotated suddenly with force. If the impact is severe then it may lead to swelling and bleeding in the brain, which have long-term effects on the overall cognition of the individual.

In cases where Traumatic Brain Injury is mild then it may lead to minimal cognitive changes which resolve with time and therapy. More serious damage can be caused where there is bruising of the brain, tearing of the brain tissues, cerebral bleeding, or other damage to the skull. Such injuries can cause long term effects to the individual of which some may be permanent.

A lot of the times families of the individual having had a Traumatic Brain Injury ask the physician the question whether the damages sustained by the individual will be temporary or permanent. This article gives a brief overview of whether Traumatic Brain Injury is permanent or not.

Is Traumatic Brain Injury Permanent?

Is Traumatic Brain Injury Permanent?

In majority of the cases, Traumatic Brain Injury does not cause permanent damage to the brain, but again it depends on the severity of the injury and the extent of the damage done to the brain. If a Traumatic Brain Injury is caused by a gunshot wound or a large exposition, then the damage is significantly more than the damage caused to the brain by a fall. In such cases, the traumatic brain injury may be significant and the effects of it may last for a longer period of time.

Statistically speaking permanent brain damage is noted in around 10% of individuals with a mild head injury like a fall or being struck by a ball, 60% for moderate injuries like a motor vehicle crash or being hit on the head by blunt object, and almost 100% in severe cases of Traumatic Brain Injury where the damage to the brain is to the extent that it literally stops functioning.

There may be severe swelling of the brain along with bleeding of the brain which may result in literally permanent damage to the functioning of the brain and may render the individual permanently disabled.

In cases of mild Traumatic Brain Injury, majority of the symptoms resolve within three to four weeks while in cases of moderate Traumatic Brain Injury, it may take up to three to four months before the individual can return to normal activities, although it may take up to a year for complete recovery.

In some cases, while the individuals with mild traumatic brain injury can return back to their normal jobs within a matter of a month they may still be left with some cognitive and social dysfunction which takes a bit longer to resolve. In cases of moderate traumatic brain injury, while individuals may eventually return back to their regular activities of daily living within a couple of months after the injury they may still be left with some impairments requiring assistance with finance management, job, and certain physical activities.

For cases of severe Traumatic Brain Injury, people do get normal after injury but majority of such people have permanent dysfunction and hence may require assistance with certain activities of daily living. In some cases, severe Traumatic Brain Injury results in coma which is a predictor of a poor outcome for that individual after a severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

In conclusion, while mild and moderate Traumatic Brain Injury does not cause any permanent dysfunction of the brain, individuals with severe form of Traumatic Brain Injury are left with certain permanent disabilities even if they are able to make it. Their prognosis remains guarded and they require assistance for certain activities of daily living throughout their life after the severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

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