Traumatic Brain Injury
Whether it happens to you or to a loved one, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change everything in an instant. And you might feel like no one understands what you’re going through. How will this affect your life? Can you still do the activities you love? Where do you go from here?
If thoughts like these are swirling through your mind, you need an expert healthcare team you can trust. Cleveland Clinic’s traumatic brain injury specialists treat all kinds of TBIs, from concussions to severe TBIs due to accidents like falls, car crashes or gunshot wounds. We provide fast treatment to minimize symptoms and reduce your risk for permanent damage.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment?
Our team of specialists treat hundreds of traumatic brain injuries each year. People travel to us from around the country to get the top-tier treatment Cleveland Clinic is known for.
Treating a traumatic brain injury often requires a team of specialists depending on your unique needs. Our experts work together to get you the treatment you need, and we’ll keep your primary care physician in the loop throughout the entire process. Meet our team.
At Cleveland Clinic, you’re at the center of everything we do. We always keep your best interests in mind and provide the kind of compassionate care we’d want our own families to receive.
If getting to your provider’s office isn’t easy, you might be able to have a virtual visit for some appointments. You’ll get the same great care but from the comfort and convenience of home. All you need to get started is an internet connection and your smartphone, computer or tablet.
Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.
Diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injuries at Cleveland Clinic
Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe, and they can affect everyone differently. Loss of consciousness post-trauma is one of the hallmark symptoms. You can also develop headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability and short-term memory problems in the days or a week following the traumatic event. Long-term memory loss or slurred speech are red flags and need immediate and thorough evaluation and treatment.
Getting a correct diagnosis is essential for getting the right treatment. After you’ve received emergency care, our Cleveland Clinic experts will do the necessary tests to determine the status of your condition. These tests may include:
- Neurological examination: This helps us check for changes in your balance, coordination, memory, vision, hearing and reflexes.
- CT scans (computed tomography scans) and MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging): These imaging tests can show us the size of your TBI and where it’s located.
- Blood tests: These look for proteins in your blood that may indicate a brain injury.
- Neuropsychological test: These tests check your problem-solving skills and cognition.
Types of traumatic brain injuries
Our experts treat several different types of traumatic brain injuries, including:
- Post-concussion syndrome.
- Mild traumatic brain injury.
- Cumulative mild traumatic brain injury.
- Moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries.
Meet Our Traumatic Brain Injury Team
When you choose Cleveland Clinic for your treatment, you’ll work with a handpicked team of specialists. Depending on your specific needs, your team might include:
Providers Who Treat Traumatic Brain Injuries
LocationsOur healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio, Florida and London.
Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries at Cleveland Clinic
You’re unique, and so is your care at Cleveland Clinic. Different medical situations require different care. Mild to moderate TBIs may improve with minimal treatment and rest. Severe TBIs usually require a hospital stay and long-term care. Our specialists will get to know you so we can understand your goals and recommend treatment options that match your needs. Through it all, we’ll be by your side, supporting and guiding you.
Immediate emergency care
After a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury, you’ll need treatment right away. The main goal is to treat the primary injury and minimize secondary damage to your brain, which can happen with inflammation, a brain bleed (hemorrhage) or a reduced oxygen supply. Depending on the type of trauma you had, you might need additional treatments to reduce the risk of serious, long-term effects.
For mild TBIs, our specialists may recommend medications to help relieve headaches, dizziness, irritability and other symptoms. They may also prescribe medications to lower your risk of other damage, like:
- Antiseizure medications: If you had a moderate or severe TBI, you have a bigger risk of developing seizures the first week following your injury. Our healthcare providers may give you antiseizure medications for a short time to keep this from happening.
- Medications to reduce brain swelling: Your provider might give you medications that can help reduce brain edema (swelling in your brain).
- Coma-inducing medications: If your brain needs further stabilization.
If you have a moderate or severe TBI, you might need surgery to minimize damage to your brain tissues. We may need to do surgery if you have:
- Brain bleed.
- Subdural hematoma.
- Epidural hematoma.
- Skull fractures.
- Severe brain inflammation.
- A cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak that causes pressure around your brain.
Rehabilitation is an important part of TBI treatment. You may only need short-term care. If you have a moderate or severe TBI, you may need long-term care over several months or years. TBI rehabilitation will require medication to control symptoms, improve cognition or behavior. Physical, occupational and speech therapy can help you regain your ability do daily tasks and improve speech, motor and sensory functions. We can also provide counseling for emotional support. No matter what you need, our team will be with you through it all.
Taking the Next Step
When life changes quickly and unexpectedly, it can be difficult to understand what’s happening and what to do next. If you or someone you love has a traumatic brain injury, you’ll want to surround yourself with skilled, knowledgeable and compassionate healthcare providers. Cleveland Clinic’s experts are here to help. From your very first visit to your recovery and follow-up care, we’ll be with you every step of your journey.
Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s traumatic brain injury experts is easy. We’ll help you get the care you need.
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