TBI Treatment and Recovery

surgery to treat a brain injury

Once a physician diagnoses someone with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), treatment begins immediately. There are many things to consider, including what type of treatment to use, supportive care, a rehabilitation plan, and what the road to recovery will look like.

Many people who have loved ones recovering from a brain injury will not realize the amount of medical bills a TBI causes. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may have a traumatic brain injury case. It's very important to hire a lawyer who will protect your rights and help make sure you receive a fair amount of compensation, which can help when the bills start to pile up. It's critical to consult an attorney immediately, because evidence disappears quickly – it can affect the amount of money you may receive.

Call 1-866-943-3427, or fill out the form at the top right of this webpage for a no obligation legal consultation, to protect you and your family now.

Types of Brain Injury Treatments

Initial Treatment

Initial treatment begins right after a person sustains a traumatic brain injury. When a patient is brought to the hospital, a team of doctors and nurses work together to diagnose a TBI and stabilize him or her, if needed.

A patient with a mild brain injury may have to stay overnight in a hospital for observation. The family will receive instructions about what to expect in the coming days and weeks, effects to look for, and tips to help them recover.

A patient with a severe TBI will likely stay at the hospital for an extended period of time. They may need surgery. The medical staff may include a trauma surgeon, a neurosurgeon (a physician who specializes on surgery of the brain and spinal cord), an orthopedic surgeon (a physician who works with broken bones and the spinal column), a general surgeon, a respiratory therapist, a psychologist, and nurses. The team works first to stabilize the patient and provide supportive care – such as resuscitating the patient, helping them breathe, perform other bodily functions, and monitoring brain activity.

Once the patient is stabilized, he or she will likely be moved to a trauma care unit, either at the same hospital or a different one that is more prepared to deal with traumatic injuries. The doctors and medical staff will continue to monitor the patient for any and all changes.

In many trauma centers, a psychologist and a trauma worker will meet with the family to talk about what to expect and to make decisions. The psychologist will provide counseling and education to the family about the patient's medical condition, while the social worker helps the family to consider changes in financial support. The social worker also will help the family plan for rehabilitation and how to face their loved one when seeing them for the first time, as well as in the future.

If the patient has remained, or is expected to remain, in a vegetative state with little or no brain activity, the psychologist and trauma worker will help the family to understand the decisions they will have to make and plan for those decisions.


A patient may need surgery to treat a traumatic brain injury. Surgeons may need to repair skull fractures or damaged tissue in an open head injury, or release pressure in the brain cavity following a closed head injury. A patient with a severe TBI may need surgery to remove damaged brain tissue, to make room for the living tissue.

Acute Treatment

Acute treatment is used for patients with severe TBIs, and is designed to minimize secondary injury and provide life support while the body is unable to function on its own.

Types of acute treatment may include mechanical ventilation (breathing). Surgeons may insert a device into the brain cavity to monitor the patient's intracranial pressure (the pressure in the brain).

Sometimes surgeons may use medications to put a patient into a coma. While it sounds like a bad idea, it is used to minimize agitation and to prevent further injury – as well as to prevent seizures.


If a patient is expected to recover, he or she will most likely move to a rehabilitation facility once discharged by the hospital trauma care unit.

The goal of rehabilitation is to focus on the effects of the TBI, prevent complications, restore the patient's lost abilities, improve independence, and prepare to go home.

A team of medical professionals will be assigned to the patient, including:

  • A physiatrist (a doctor who specializes in physical medicine)
  • A neuropsychologist (who focuses on the patient's changes in the brain)
  • A physical therapist (assigned to help the patient overcome the physical effects of the TBI)
  • An occupational therapist (who helps the patient adapt to daily life following a traumatic brain injury, such as helping him or her to shower, budget, cook, etc.
  • A rehabilitation nurse

The patient will have therapy every day – possibly multiple times a day. He or she may need help learning how to talk, eat, and walk. Staff will help with these tasks, and also keep them from falling, trying to leave, and explain things if the patient becomes confused or angry. The IMPACT test is a common test used to evaluate concussion symptoms and determine how well a patient is healing.

The amount of rehabilitation varies for each patient. A patient may stay in a rehabilitation facility for up to several months, depending on the severity of the head injury and where the traumatic brain injury occurred.

Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery

Recovery time following a TBI varies for every person. A person with a mild concussion may recover quickly, but may experience problems in the future. Some patients recover in a few months, while others will never fully recover.

A person's future prognosis depends on if a coma occurred, how long it lasted, if the patient suffered post-traumatic amnesia (memory loss), age, and overall health.

Many patients recover at least a portion of the brain function they lost due to a TBI. Some areas of the brain that are linked to the damaged brain tissue may begin functioning again, or a healthy part of the brain may take over the part of the brain that no longer works. Repeating a task in therapy helps restore lost abilities, such as walking and cooking. Patients also learn new strategies to make up for things they can't relearn how to do.

More Brain Injury Information

Get a Free Legal Consultation of Your Brain Injury Claim

The cost of medical treatment and recovery can seem unbearable for brain injury survivors. Be sure to protect your legal rights, and don't trust the insurance company to look out for your best interest.

Call 1-866-943-3427, or fill out the form at the top right of this webpage for a no obligation, free legal consultation. You may have a case, and we can help get you the money you need to pay your medical bills. Contact us today to get started.

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