Traumatic brain injury that happens at the same time as a spinal cord injury (SCI) makes recovery and rehabilitation more difficult. According to spinal cord research, about 60% of spinal cord injuries are also associated with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A closed head injury with spinal cord injury is more likely if the trauma happened during a motor vehicle accident or as a result of a fall. Neck (cervical) spinal cord injuries are also more likely to happen at the same time as a traumatic brain injury. In some cases, a mild traumatic brain injury may not be diagnosed right away since most of the attention is paid to stabilizing the human spinal column.
The immediate post-trauma phase is more complex when both the brain and the spinal cord have been damaged. Inflammation, changes to blood flow from swelling and decreased oxygen reaching the brain and spinal cord means that the body’s ability to regulate heart rate, blood pressure and reflexes is impaired. Doctors have to consider both the brain damage and the spinal cord injury as they treat the symptoms.
Long term recovery is also affected when TBI and SCI happen together. When there is a traumatic brain injury together with spinal cord injury there is a profound effect on an individual’s ability to undergo rehabilitation.
Problems with concentration, and behavioral changes are common after a TBI. This means that one’s ability to engage in very important therapies such as learning new self-care skills, becomes extremely difficult. Individuals with both TBI and SCI will likely need attendant care throughout their lifetimes.
Getting the Best Support
Dr. Greg Vigna has treated many patients with both spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. As a lawyer, he advocates for the best possible settlement that will address all your spinal cord injury treatment needs after this devastating event.