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How Serious is a Cerebral Contusion? - Jones Law Group

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Cerebral Contusion

How Serious is a Cerebral Contusion?

By: Heath C. Murphy +Personal Injury

If you have been involved in a car accident, whether as an occupant of a vehicle or as a pedestrian or bicyclist, one fairly common injury is a cerebral contusion or what is commonly known as a brain bruise. Cerebral contusions are serious traumatic brain injuries and must be treated as such. Cerebral contusions can be misdiagnosed as a concussion because they share some similar characteristics. In many instances the two injuries can occur together, however, the two injuries differ in several key aspects. At its most simplistic level a concussion is generalized microscopic bleeding in the brain while a cerebral contusion is a localized brain bruise with localized swelling.

What is a Cerebral Contusion?

Cerebral contusions are localized areas of bleeding on the brain. They tend to occur in accidents where the skull impacts another object and the brain strikes a ridge on the interior of the skull.[1] The interior of the skull, especially under the frontal and temporal lobes, has areas which have sharp ridges that are capable of causing cerebral contusions in the brain if sufficiently contacted. Most patients that have a cerebral contusion report losing consciousness.

A concussion, on the other hand, differs from a cerebral contusion in that it is not a localized injury. It is widespread microscopic bleeding. It is typically more difficult to diagnose using imaging tests such as CT Scans and MRIs. Though a concussion is a serious brain injury, it is usually less dangerous than a cerebral contusion.

What are the Symptoms of a Cerebral Contusion?

The severity of a cerebral contusion can very widely. They can present with very few symptoms or the injury can be extremely severe. People with severe cerebral contusions generally report losing consciousness after the accident. When they regain consciousness, the injured people often seem confused, agitated and emotional. Other symptoms include:

1. Memory loss;
2. Cognitive issues;
3. Emotional changes;
4. Numbness:
5. Motor skills issues; and
6. Loss of the ability to speak or understand speech.

It is important to remember that the swelling will continue to develop and expand following the accident for a period of up to 72 hours. This may cause a delayed onset of symptoms, therefore, it is important to monitor a person with a head injury for a period of time following an accident.

How is a Cerebral Contusion Treated?

Sometimes rest is the best treatment for a cerebral contusion, but in cases where there is significant brain swelling or a blood clot forms, surgery may be necessary. One possible surgical treatment is a decompressive craniotomy.[2] This surgery will require that a portion of the skull to be removed to allow the brain swelling to expand without being squeezed. Once the patient has healed sufficiently, the open portion of the skull will be closed.


Recovery varies widely after traumatic brain injury. Even brain injuries which might be medically classified as “minor” can have long term effects on victim. The prognosis for more severe traumatic brain injuries is bleak. A large percentage of people who suffer severe traumatic brain injuries will be expected to have permanent cognitive, emotional and coordination disabilities for the remainder of their lives. Many people who suffer a severe traumatic brain injury require professional care in a managed facility.

Contact Jones Law Group

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg brain injury lawyer at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you. We understand traumatic brain injuries and the issues that they can cause in your daily life and our law firm will always work to make sure you are compensated fairly.

Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707



[1] http://neurosurgery.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=291#b

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19061378

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio