What is a Concussion?
Contrary to what many people believe, a concussion is not simply a “bruise” to the brain after bumping the head. A concussion is actually a traumatic brain injury. They are caused when the head is hit or hits something which results in the brain to rapidly accelerating inside the skull. When the rapidly moving skull comes to an abrupt stop, the momentum of the brain causes it to strike the inside of the skull with great force. This all happens very rapidly, but far from being just a quick event, it initiates processes deep within the brain tissue which may last a lifetime.
What Happens Inside the Brain?
The brain is a highly-organized, extremely complex, and powerful command center of the human body. It governs our emotions, thoughts, memories, learning, intelligence, creativity, movement, speech, our senses and so much more. Its capabilities are amazing. But it is very fragile. The brain is soft and delicate and has a Jell-O-like consistency. Inside the brain are billions of neurons, which communicate signals over long-spindly structures, called axons. The smooth and uninterrupted transmission of these signals over the axons is vital to the brain’s ability to properly control our bodies.
The skull serves to protect the brain from external blows to the head, but when the head or torso is subjected to a sudden force or jolt, the brain forcefully shifts and moves inside the skull, causing the neurons and axons to stretch and even tear. When an axon is torn, it not only disrupts the brain’s ability to communicate its vital signals, but also causes the death of surrounding neurons from toxins which are released when the destroyed axons begin to degrade and deteriorate.
What are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
Symptoms of many concussions are immediately visible. Sometimes, however, they become apparent much later. Symptoms that typically appear immediately include headache, confusion, disorientation, loss of consciousness, amnesia about how the injury occurred, dizziness, and others. Symptoms that can occur later include depression, anxiety, forgetfulness, fatigue, visual disturbances, problems with concentration and attention, memory problems, sleep disturbances, as well as changes in mood and behavior.
How Long Does it Take a Concussion to Heal?
Each brain is unique, and each injury is unique. There are also different levels of concussion severity (from mild to severe). The average complete healing time for a concussion is typically 2-3 months according to scientific literature. Getting appropriate medical care, following physician’s orders, and protecting yourself from receiving another concussion while healing from an initial concussion, are crucial to the healing process. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, concussion symptoms can last well beyond the “normal” healing period. In fact, people can suffer these symptoms for months or even years after the event. Suffering concussion symptoms beyond the time that is considered “normal” is called Post-Concussion Syndrome (or PCS). PCS is a serious medical condition that wreaks havoc on a person’s daily life – interfering with work, social life, school, hobbies, and personal relationships. Persistent post-concussion syndrome may be considered a permanent injury and its effects may ripple throughout one’s life.
Experienced Florida Brain Injury Lawyer
Jim Dodson, an experienced brain injury lawyer has over 25 years experience successfully representing clients who have suffered a brain injury from the wrongdoing of someone else. If you have immediate questions and want to speak to Jim, call our office at 888-815-6398 to schedule a time to discuss your accident case. There is never a fee for a consultation.