Brain conditions

Traumatic brain injuries

A traumatic brain injury can occur when an external force impacts the brain. This can result in a range of symptoms and disabilities. Traumatic brain injuries contribute to many permanent disabilities and deaths around the world. However, there is a general lack of awareness about the prolific nature of traumatic brain injuries.

Many traumatic brain injuries result from motor-vehicle crashes, but there are other ways moderate to severe brain injuries can happen – such as by falling, an assault or playing sport.

What is concussion?

Concussion is one of the most common types of traumatic brain injury. Concussion is usually mild and frequently occurs when playing contact sport.

While more medical research into concussion is needed, concussion can be severe and repeated incidents may develop into a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Treatment for concussion may involve neurosurgery. Treatment usually includes a multidisciplinary approach that consists of a neurosurgeon, traumatic brain injury rehabilitation specialists and allied health workers, such as a physiotherapists and occupational therapists.


Any medical advice, diagnoses or treatment must be administered by your healthcare provider. You should make decisions about your healthcare after you have consulted with a qualified medical physician or surgeon.

If you believe you may have a medical emergency, call 000 (triple zero) immediately.


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  5. Australian Sports Commission, Concussion in Sport Australia.
  6. National Library of Medicine, Position statement: definition of traumatic brain injury.
  7. RACGP, Traumatic brain injury – support for injured people and their carers.
  8. The Medical Journal of Australia, Trends in severe traumatic brain injury in Victoria, 2006–2014.
  9. The University of Queensland, How long does concussion last: long-term effects.