Common Traumatic Brain, Spine & Auto Accident Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s):
Around 70% of crash victims have mild traumatic brain injury, and the majority of them go undiagnosed.
Motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that anyone who receives a jolt to the head be evaluated. At Injury Treatment Centers of Kansas City, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mild traumatic brain injuries caused by car accidents.
The rehabilitation process begins with comprehensive testing and examination. These tests help us pinpoint the specific neural pathways that are not functioning properly. The description of the injury and the symptoms usually give way to the diagnosis of a mild traumatic brain injury. To diagnosis physiological problems resulting from a TBI the patient should have a very complete and comprehensive neurological examination. Then, using a variety of techniques, we strengthen those neural pathways to stimulate specific regions of the brain.
Traumatic Brain Injuries typically don’t show up on MRI or CT scans. Mild traumatic brain injuries are diagnosed with subjective complaints, questionnaires, and exam findings. At our clinic, we use the first FDA cleared EEG/ERP system to objectively confirm our TBI diagnosis. Our system is an electroencephalogram (EEG) that uses what is called an Event-Related Potential (ERP) to determine brain function. We are the only clinic in the area that uses this state-of-the-art technology.
How does the brain get injured in a low-speed collision?
The brain is soft with the consistency of gelatin. The brain is encased inside the skull. During a crash, the movement of the skull through space (acceleration) and the rapid discontinuation of this action, causes the brain to move inside the skull. The brain moves at a different rate than the skull because it is soft. Different parts of the brain move at different speeds because of their relative lightness or heaviness. The differential movement of the skull and the brain when the head is struck results in direct brain injury due to diffuse axonal shearing, contusion and brain swelling.
- Concussion is a mild head injury that can cause a brief loss of consciousness and usually does not cause permanent brain injury.
- Contusion is a bruise to a specific area of the brain caused by an impact to the head; also called coup or contrecoup injuries. In coup injuries, the brain is injured directly under the area of impact, while in contrecoup injuries it is injured on the side opposite the impact.
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a shearing and stretching of the nerve cells at the cellular level. It occurs when the brain quickly moves back and forth inside the skull, tearing and damaging the nerve axons. Axons connect one nerve cell to another throughout the brain, like telephone wires. Widespread axonal injury disrupts the brain’s normal transmission of information.
Although described as individual injuries, a person who has suffered a TBI is more likely to have a combination of injuries, each of which may have a different level of severity. This makes answering questions like “what part of the brain is injured?” difficult, as more than one area is usually involved. TBI case management requires very specialized and time sensitive protocols. In the absence of proper and timely treatment, serious future complications arise know as “post-concussion syndrome”.