The often long and tough road to recovery for brain injury survivors

No two traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are exactly alike, so it is difficult to know what the patient’s symptoms will be until they experience them. But it can be said that severe brain trauma often causes greatly debilitating symptoms that can last for years. Sometimes, the patient never fully recovers.

Long-term symptoms of TBI differ from patient to patient. In the St. Louis area, hospitals and clinics offer the best rehabilitative and medical services available to help victims recover as much of their independence and quality of life as possible. But the treatments and rehab techniques can be grueling, and recovery is not guaranteed.

Examples of serious TBI symptoms

Common symptoms of a major TBI include:

  • Cognitive and executive functioning problems, such as trouble with memory, judgment, problem-solving and multitasking
  • Communication and socializing problems, such as difficulty speaking or understanding speech, inability to pick up on non-verbal social cues, and trouble organizing thoughts
  • Changes in behavior and emotions, such as a sudden interest in risky behavior, lack of self-control, mood swings, depression and irritability
  • Sensory problems like tinnitus, blind spots, double vision, poor balance and coordination issues

Immediate treatment options might include surgery to remove blood clots from the skull or inside the brain or stop bleeding on the brain. Later, depending on the nature and severity of their brain injury symptoms, the patient might undergo rehabilitation with an occupational therapist, speech and language pathologist, physical therapist, psychologist, or other specialists. These treatments typically begin as soon as possible to help the patient recover the maximum amount of lost function. They can last for weeks, months, or years.

When rehab is not enough

Having any of these symptoms can greatly interfere with a person’s ability to work and their overall quality of life. If medical attention and rehab cannot relieve a TBI patient’s symptoms, and their injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, they could need significant financial compensation to help make up for the cost of medical care, lost wages and so on.