Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on
how severe the condition is.
Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may range from ice
and rest to observation to surgery.
For a severe head injury, you are
monitored for increased intracranial pressure (pressure inside the skull). Head injury
may cause the brain to swell. Since the brain is covered by the skull, there is only a
small amount of room for it to swell. This causes pressure inside the skull to increase,
which can lead to brain damage.
Intracranial pressure is measured in one of two ways.
- One way is to place a small hollow
tube (catheter) into the fluid-filled space in the brain (ventricle).
- The second way is to use a small,
hollow device (bolt) placed through the skull into the space just between the skull
and the brain.
Your healthcare provider will insert one or both devices in the
intensive care unit (ICU) or in the operating room. He or she will then attach the
device to a monitor that gives a constant reading of the pressure inside the skull. If
the pressure goes up, it can be treated right away. While the device is in place, you
will be given medicine to stay comfortable. Your healthcare provider will remove the
device when the swelling has gone down and there is little chance of more swelling.