5 Types of Traumatic Brain Injury

When we hear the word brain injury, we often think of impact events as the cause, such as a concussion. But there are several different types of traumatic brain injury, and not all originate from an accident or injury. 

Rehab for brain injury depends on how the injury occurred, where exactly in the brain the injury is located, and the severity of the damage. Treatment plans will correspond to the different types of traumatic brain injury. 

This article will look more in-depth at 5 common types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) frequently treated at our neurorehabilitation center


Penetrating Brain Injury

A penetrating brain injury is where an object pierces the skull. The object or fragments of matter such as hair or skin can then contact the brain. In effect, the force of the trauma may have a significant impact causing severe injury. 

There may also be a skull fracture, such as what may occur with a fall, motor vehicle accident, sports injury, or a gunshot wound. Any external force causing a skull fracture which then traumatizes the brain falls into this category. 



A concussion is a common TBI and considered a minor brain injury. It is caused by the shaking of the brain suddenly or a sudden movement. Whiplash during a motor vehicle accident or sporting injury is a common cause of a concussion.

Concussions are often diagnosed through symptoms as Physicians cannot see them on imaging scans such as MRIs. A concussion can cause serious symptoms such as:


  • Memory Concerns
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Disorientation
  • Fatigue and, if severe, loss of consciousness 

A serious concern is if a second concussion occurs on top of the first concussion. This is known as Second Impact Syndrome



A brain contusion is essentially a bruise but located on the brain. Just like a bruise on the body, there is the breaking and bleeding of blood vessels. The danger lies in the pressure that may build on the brain. 

Contusions are most often caused by impact injuries such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Sometimes the contusion can occur on the opposite side of the injury, known as a coup and counter-coup injury

Just like any injury, a contusion may be minor or severe. Symptoms of a contusion may be similar to those of a concussion, although you can see agitation or mood changes. In extreme cases, there may be brain swelling, loss of consciousness, and distress. 


Anoxic Injuries

These are injuries that occur due to a lack of proper oxygen to the brain. They often occur with stroke, heart attacks, or serious trauma. Essentially the attacks cut off blood flow, thus the oxygen supply to the brain.

Without enough oxygen, the brain quickly- in a matter of minutes- will begin to deteriorate, either injury or death occurs. 

Other causes of anoxic brain injury include drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning, or suffocation.


Hypoxic Injury

A hypoxic injury occurs when the brain receives oxygen but not enough after an event such as a TIA (mini-stroke), so damage occurs. Other causes may be near-drowning, survivable cardiac arrest, or exposure to harmful gases. 


Post-acute rehabilitation


Where Can I Find Support After a Traumatic Brain Injury?

If you or a loved one require post-acute rehabilitation following a traumatic brain injury, consider Neu Life. We understand different brain injuries and can coordinate the appropriate care based on your loved one’s individual needs. 

We help our patients get their life back’. If you would like more information about our services, do not hesitate to contact us today or simply visit our website neuliferehab.com.


Make a referral or give us a call at 800.626.3876.


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF 

MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


Dedicated to providing the highest caliber of care to individuals with brain injuries, NeuLife Rehabilitation is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
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