RECOVERY FROM A CONCUSSION DEPENDS ON VARIOUS FACTORS
1. Concussion Recovery Depends on Severity of Head Injury
The conventional medical wisdom on recovery from concussions depends mainly on how severe the head injury was. Cases involving a skull fracture or brain bleed have a much lower incidence of full recovery. Depending on how one defines “recovery,” one could argue that full recovery in more serious head injuries is rare.
2. Recovery from a concussion is variable among individuals with “mild” concussions.
A “mild” concussion is defined as one that involves either a loss of consciousness for 30 minutes or less or, if no loss of consciousness, then some amnesia surrounding the event. However, This standard was created over 20 years ago. More recent medical studies have questioned the strict use of this standard. People often can have a “mild” concussion without any loss of consciousness or amnesia surrounding the head injury. (We see this in sports injuries frequently)
CONCUSSION RECOVERY TIME
Typically, the lighter the concussion, the more likely a full recovery will be achieved within 2-3 months. However, according to more recent medical studies involving large groups of people in both the general public and the military, roughly 50% of individuals who have had a concussion experience some degree of ongoing symptoms from very mild to very noticeable for more than three months. Additionally, what is often overlooked is that sleep disorders occur in roughly 50% of head injuries but may not fully manifest themselves until 1-3 months after the head injury. For this reason, they are not always connected with a head injury. Similarly, pituitary injuries that are thought to occur in approximately 20% of head injuries may also not show until 2-12 months post head injury. For this reason, one has to be careful with giving hard time frames during which people will “recover” from a brain injury.
DELAYED RECOVERY FROM CONCUSSIONS
The medical literature consensus seems to be that in the first 18 months following a brain injury, most people with brain injuries resolve. However, if symptoms from a brain injury last longer than 18 months, they are generally thought to be permanent or will see very little improvement after that time period.