You don’t have to think about what to do if you see something coming toward your head. You duck or try to block it somehow. However, this isn’t always enough. That’s why more than 1.7 million people experience head injuries each year. And, even if you wear protective equipment, your head is still vulnerable to injury.
Our compassionate providers at MidJersey Orthopaedics understand the importance of diagnosing and treating head injuries. We treat every head injury with urgency and care and provide the necessary guidance to make sure you recover fully. If you receive a blow to the head, you shouldn’t ignore it. Here’s why.
Besides the pain from getting hit in the head, you could sustain numerous injuries. It’s important to remember that with head injuries, the injury could be worse than it looks. The only way to know for sure if you’re OK or if you need treatment is to get medical care.
Head injuries can result from a variety of situations, such as from car accidents, collisions in sports, and falls. Even if you feel fine right after hitting your head, you could still need treatment, as symptoms may not appear until later.
Your provider at MidJersey Orthopaedics can give you a thorough evaluation and explain your next steps if needed.
Head trauma can manifest in one or several ways. Here are some of them:
Contusions on the skull are often the result of bumping your head against an object or getting hit by an object. A contusion usually manifests as a swollen bruise that’s sensitive to the touch. These injuries are usually mild, and your provider may recommend over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
You can also sustain a contusion on your brain. A contusion on the brain occurs when the brain hits the skull, damaging the blood vessels and tissues within. This could result in swelling and bleeding of the brain and require surgery.
A concussion is the result of slamming your brain against the walls of your skull. A concussion can lead to a loss of consciousness for a few minutes or even several hours, and the event can damage brain tissue and lead to problems with brain function.
Skull fractures occur when the skull is cracked after an impact. This injury — which can result in brain damage — often needs to be repaired with surgery.
A cerebral edema is a condition in which fluid becomes trapped in your brain, which can occur due to falls, car accidents, and other issues. A cerebral edema puts pressure on your brain and can cause headaches, nausea, neck pain, and even a loss of consciousness.
A hematoma occurs when a blow to the head causes blood in the brain to clot outside of the blood vessels. This can cause a loss of consciousness and put you at risk for permanent brain damage.
As mentioned, head injuries always require immediate medical attention. However, if you have any of the following symptoms, it’s particularly important to seek treatment:
If you experience a head injury, it’s important to seek immediate care even if you can still walk and talk. It’s also important to stay awake until you get medical attention, especially if you’re experiencing certain symptoms, such as lightheadedness or a pupil that’s permanently dilated.
If you need immediate care, go to an emergency room right away. If you need follow-up care, book an appointment online or over the phone with MidJersey Orthopaedics today.