The Different Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries and How We Can Treat Them

Apr 11, 2023
The Different Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries and How We Can Treat Them
Traumatic brain injuries occur when impact or penetration injuries affect brain tissue. Mild cases may not cause long-term damage, while more significant cases can permanently impair brain function. Read on to learn the treatment options.

A brain injury is serious, and significant trauma injuries can cause permanent impairment or death. 

Much depends on the type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Since there are many types of TBI, there are also plenty of treatments. At Coast Neurosurgical Associates, located in Long Beach, California, we specialize in a wide spectrum of neurological conditions, including brain trauma

In this blog, we’ve prepared this short primer that outlines the various classifications of brain injury as well as a few common treatments. Visit us toNe learn more about the specifics of your condition. 

Types of TBI

The most frequent causes of brain injuries are car accidents and falls. Sports participation, assaults, and firearm injuries can also result in TBIs. 

Open and closed

Most TBIs occur from a blow to the head that doesn’t penetrate the skull, called a closed TBI. These injuries create swelling within the skull. 

Open TBIs, also known as penetrating injuries, typically result from assaults with firearms, knives, or other weapons, and they may lead to direct damage to the tissue of the brain. 

Complicated and uncomplicated

During diagnosis, our neurosurgeons often use computerized tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). When there are no signs of change in the diagnostic images, a TBI is classed as uncomplicated. Visible changes in imaging, such as bleeding, creates a complicated TBI. 

Concussion grades

The most common form of TBI is a concussion, and they vary widely in severity and effects on a patient. Mild concussions are usually short-lived, creating dazed sensations lasting less than half an hour. This is sometimes called an mTBI. 

Moderate TBIs tend to create a loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes but less than a day, while severe TBIs last more than one day and usually show complicated changes in CT or MRI tests. 

TBI treatments

Mild and moderate TBIs that are closed and uncomplicated may require simple rest and observation. The type and intensity of symptoms vary widely across all forms of brain injury. 

Significant brain injuries, including open or complicated types, generally require immediate emergency care to limit the consequences of the TBI. That is also the case for nontraumatic brain injuries, like stroke or near-drowning, where the brain loses access to oxygen. 

When surgical intervention is necessary for a TBI, the targets of treatment usually include: 

  • Stopping brain bleeds
  • Removing clotted blood that put pressure on the brain
  • Relieving pressure within the skull caused by swelling or excess cerebrospinal fluid
  • Repairing damage from a skull fracture

After you leave the hospital, you typically require intense follow-up care during recovery, another specialty of our practice. Schedule a consultation with one of our neurosurgeons at Coast Neurosurgical Associates by phone or online to access the best TBI care.