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Traumatic brain injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a blow to the head or penetrating head injury disrupts normal function of the brain. About 1.7 million cases of TBI occur every year, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. It is a serious condition that requires specialized medical expertise. Visit The Center’s concussion center to learn more about our comprehensive program to assess, treat, and rehabilitate individuals who have had a concussion.


Symptoms vary greatly and may be mild, moderate, or severe. They may include the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vision changes (blurred vision or seeing double, not able to tolerate bright light, loss of eye movement, blindness)
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (which may be clear or blood-tinged) coming out of the ears or nose
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Slow pulse
  • Slow breathing rate, with an increase in blood pressure
  • Ringing in the ears or changes in hearing
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Inappropriate emotional responses
  • Speech difficulties (slurred speech, inability to understand and/or articulate words)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Body numbness or tingling
  • Droopy eyelid or facial weakness
  • Loss of bowel control or bladder control


Treatment option may involve emergency care to prevent further damage to your brain. If you had a penetrating head injury, you may need surgical procedures to correct damage to tissues and your skull, as well as medications to control fluid and prevent seizures. When a violent blow to the brain or concussion has occurred, patients will get a customized plan to return to activity and restore function.