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How does a head injury cause internal damage?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2022 | Slip and fall

Traumatic brain injuries refer to a wide variety of injuries. Injuries can occur to one section of the brain or throughout it. Generally, TBIs happen as either closed brain injuries or penetrating brain injuries.

According to Hopkins Medicine, a closed brain injury occurs if nothing penetrates the skull during the incident. For example, falls, motor vehicle accidents or other blunt force trauma forces the brain to move within the skull but does not involve a skull fracture. Penetrating injuries occur when an object penetrates bone or the skull breaks.

Internal damage to the brain

Your brain has long connecting nerve fibers known as axons. If your brain rotates and shifts during an incident, your axons can tear. Diffuse axonal injuries occur due to tearing. A DAI may cause injuries to various parts of the brain and can lead to coma. Sometimes, the changes in the brain do not show on CT or MRI scans.

When you suffer a blow to the head, a mechanism known as coup-contrecoup causes damage to the blood vessels and internal tissue. When your brain jolts, it can hit the skull on the opposite side, causing a contrecoup lesion.

Primary and secondary injuries

Primary injuries occur due to the incident itself. For example, during a car accident, any injuries you sustain are primary injuries. Secondary injuries occur over a period of time. For example, swelling, blood vessel changes and other complications can contribute to the injury.

If you suffer a severe traumatic brain injury, you require rehabilitation and other treatment options. Most brain cells cannot regenerate after destruction.