The goal of any brain injury treatment and rehabilitation program is to return the patient to the life he or she was leading before the injury. The level and extent of the brain injury will largely dictate the type of treatment necessary.
In most cases, the first step will be to identify the type of injury and the extent of the damage. This may be done through medical imaging and classification of the injury. If the most severe cases, doctors may perform emergency surgery to stop internal bleeding, repair damaged tissue, and relieve pressure on the brain which could cause further injury. These surgeries are extremely complicated and will require a significant stay in a hospital for post-surgical monitoring.
Once the type of injury and the extent of the damage are identified, your doctors will work with you to develop a comprehensive long-term treatment plan. Often, these plans include regular checks by neurologists or other specialists, to monitor your progress. Medication may be prescribed to help control physical conditions such as swelling or blood clots, pain, or mood disorders such as depression or hostility. In some cases, additional surgeries may be scheduled.
After determinations regarding your physical health are made, the focus will turn to rehabilitation. Brain injury patients may often need to relearn important functions needed for living. Depending on the type and extent of your symptoms, your doctors may decide that a residential treatment facility is necessary for your care, or they may decide to release you into outpatient care, where you will live at home and continue to treat with specialists on a daily or weekly basis.
In many cases, a number of different health care providers will join your team. You may be prescribed home health services, which will allow you to get rehabilitation and medical care provided to you in your home. You may also begin to see occupational, recreational, and speech therapists, who will help you retrain your body to perform the basic functions of living. You may also be assigned a case manager or social worker who will oversee your general care and ensure that you are getting the treatment you require on a daily basis.
The road to recovery from a brain injury is long and difficult, but working with your medical care team to obtain the proper resources is crucial.