We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Phases of Brain Injury Recovery?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are several phases to brain injury recovery, the first of which includes stabilization and assessment of injury, typically performed in a hospital emergency room setting. Subsequent phases will include physical rehabilitation, as well as speech-language therapy if necessary. Brain injury recovery will also depend upon a strong and long-term support system from loved ones.

At the onset of a serious brain injury, a crucial juncture is determining how serious the injury is and the prognosis for recovery. In the case of severe head trauma, bleeding must be controlled, either externally or inside the skull or brain itself. Other elements such as cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, or shock may occur in the presence of brain injury, and therefore these symptoms require immediate attention.

After the patient is stabilized with no imminent threat to his life, doctors will map out a course of action for recovery. The next brain injury recovery phase will be to situate the patient in a designated area of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for specialized trauma care. Depending upon the patient's injuries, physicians will typically perform a battery of assessments and laboratory work. Neurosurgeons will be on call to check on and treat any dire emergencies that may arise.

The next phase of brain injury recovery is to treat any complications that may arise, typically within the first 24-48 hours. Occasionally, complications such as infection may occur a week or two after the initial injury. Pneumonia and seizures are common complications for trauma patients.

During the phases of a comatose patient's road to recovery, response to stimuli may be a slow process. Initial body movements or body jerking and twitching may be involuntary. While some responses may be simple body reflexes, may experts believe that comatose patients have the ability to comprehend and hear sounds around them. This is why they often encourage loved ones to speak with the patient frequently.

Once the patient is showing no signs of coma and has regained consciousness, the next phase of brain injury recovery involves rehabilitation. This may involve re-learning simple everyday tasks, such as dressing and feeding himself. A professional physical therapist will be on hand to help him through this fundamental routine. This routine may include cognitive therapy as well as coordination and balance testing.

Part of physical rehabilitation for a brain injury recovery program will inevitably involve speech therapy. Depending upon the extent of injury, the person may need to learn how to speak all over again, just as in infancy. This process can take several months or even years before the patient recovers fully. Long-term care for brain injury recovery ultimately involves a series of therapy options.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.