Traumatic Brain Injury

published 9/28/2016

How do you get a traumatic brain injury? The term “traumatic brain injury” (or TBI, for short) is thrown around a lot in the sports media and on medical commercials. But how do these kinds of brain injuries occur? It’s important to understand what TBI actually is before looking into its causes. Let’s explore how a traumatic brain injury is defined.

What Is TBI?

Traumatic brain injury is essentially what it sounds like—a very serious, dangerous, and potentially deadly injury to the brain. TBIs are usually caused by a forceful impact to the outside of the head (such as being struck with a flying object) or turbulent shaking of the head without any external impact. You may think that TBIs sound like rare incidents, but think again—they account for about 30% of all yearly deaths in the United States.

The Most Common Causes of TBI

Falls. Falling can seriously injure your brain and skull. We all succumb to clumsy slips throughout our lives, but falling the wrong way can result in a TBI. If you fall down a flight of stairs, off of a ladder, or even off of a roof, it’s very easy to hit your head and sustain a trauma. The elderly population is at greater risk for TBIs from falls because of their declining agility. Conversely, children are also at risk for TBIs from falling because of the frequency in which they endanger themselves while playing.

Car accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury. These kinds of accidents are especially dangerous because they can cause both external and internal TBI. An object can pierce or strike the skull, resulting in exterior injury and internal trauma. Or, the brain can be violently shaken during impact without any objects hitting the skull at all.

Sports. One of the biggest risks of playing team or solo sports is that injuries are inevitable. But traumatic brain injury is more serious than a sprained ankle, and it is one of the major risks of playing football, soccer, rugby, hockey, and boxing and skateboarding. All of these sports and more put you at risk for head-on impact, which is why wearing a helmet is always a must.

Military Combat. Enlisting in the military always brings a sweeping variety of physical and mental health risks, and TBI is one of them. Many veterans suffer from traumatic brain disorder, among other conditions, and there are two main causes of this. One is an impact with shrapnel, large flying objects, and bullets. The second cause of TBI for soldiers is being too close to an explosion. Even if not objects externally penetrate or collide with the skull, the pressure wave traveling from the explosion is thought to cause immediate internal brain damage.

What Can You Do If You Have TBI?

Surprisingly, not all patients with TBI know that they have the condition. If you have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and are seeking a brain injury specialist in Southern California, or if you suspect you may be suffering from TBI or any other neurological condition, get in touch with us. California Neurosurgical Institute presents TBI patients with compassionate care and innovative surgical solutions, including decompressive craniectomy, cranioplasty, and other traumatic brain injury treatments. We proudly serve patients in Valencia, Thousand Oaks, and Bakersfield, CA