Traumatic Brain Injuries - Treatment by Neurosurgeon in Baltimore

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The Minimally Invasive Brain and Spine Center at Mercy in Baltimore has extensive experience diagnosing and treating a full range of brain and spinal disorders, including traumatic brain injury. 

About the Condition

Traumatic brain injury occurs when an abrupt and forceful head trauma causes brain dysfunction. Traumatic brain injury can be caused by a:

  • Fall
  • Sports injury
  • Vehicle or bicycle accident
  • Violent act or assault (punch in the head, blow to the head, gunshot wound)
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms that can appear hours or days after a traumatic brain injury may include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Speech problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Change in one or both pupils (dilation)
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness (can vary from several seconds to several hours)
  • Seizures

The complications and lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury depend on the severity of the brain damage that occurred, but can include:

  • Changes in speech, memory, communication, behavior or ability to properly construct thoughts
  • Hydrocephalus (fluid buildup in the brain)
  • Coma
  • Infections
  • Nerve damage
  • Brain death

In order to diagnose and determine the severity of traumatic brain injury, doctors may:  

  • Ask questions about the details of the injury
  • Perform a physical examination, requiring the patient to demonstrate movement of their limbs and eyes
  • Take an MRI or CT scan of the head
  • Use an intracranial pressure monitor to determine if tissue swelling is present and causing pressure on the brain  
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Treating traumatic brain injury depends on the severity of the brain damage that occurred. A mild injury may not require treatment, but should be evaluated and closely monitored. More severe injuries may require:

  • Urgent emergency care
  • Medications to prevent fluid buildup or seizures that may occur
  • Surgery to mend skull fracture, alleviate pressure on the brain or remove blood clots
  • Rehabilitation to help with communication or learning issues that happened as a result of the injury