Traumatic Brain injury treatment may be minimal or may include interventions such as medications, emergency surgery, or surgery years later. Physical therapy, speech therapy, recreation therapy, occupational therapy, and vision therapy may be employed for rehabilitation.
A variety of treatments can help a person recover from TBI and can sometimes reduce or eliminate certain physical, emotional, and cognitive problems associated with TBI. The specifics of treatment, including the type, setting, and length, depending on how severe the injury is and the area of the brain that was injured.
A Mild TBI, sometimes called concussion, may not require specific treatment other than rest. However, it is very important to follow a healthcare provider’s instructions for complete rest and slowly return to normal activities after a mild TBI. If a person returns to their normal activities too soon and starts experiencing TBI symptoms, the healing process may take much longer. Certain activities, such as working on a computer and concentrating hard, can tire the brain even though they are not physically demanding. A person with a concussion might need to reduce these kinds of activities or take frequent breaks to let the brain rest.
In addition, alcohol and other drugs can slow recovery and increase the chances of re-injury. Re-injury during recovery can slow healing and increase the chances of long-term problems, including permanent brain damage and even death.
Emergency care generally focuses on stabilizing and keeping the patient alive, including making sure the brain gets enough oxygen, controlling blood and brain pressure, and preventing further injury to the head or neck. Once the patient is stable, other types of care for TBI can begin. Sometimes surgery is needed as part of emergency care to reduce damage to the brain.
Removing blood clots or pools. Bleeding in the brain or between the brain and skull can lead to large areas of clotted blood, sometimes called hematomas. These areas of clotted or pooling blood put pressure on the brain and can damage brain tissues. Repairing skull fractures. Setting severe skull fractures or removing pieces of the skull or other debris from the brain area can help start the healing process of the skull and surrounding tissues.
Therapies can help people with TBI recover functions, relearn skills, and find new ways to do things that take their new health status into account. Rehabilitation can include several different kinds of therapy for physical, emotional, and cognitive difficulties and for a variety of activities, such as daily self-care, driving, and interacting with others.
Depending on the injury, these treatments may be needed only briefly after the injury, occasionally throughout a person’s life, or on an ongoing basis.