Our experts provide immediate emergency care to those who have suffered a concussion or another traumatic head injury. 

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is when a blow or other type of head injury causes brain damage. The mildest form of TBI is a concussion. If not treated, any form of TBI can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

A TBI is a serious medical condition that can affect you or a loved one’s entire life. At Penn State Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), our PM&R physiatrists (physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation) and staff have special training in caring for patients with TBIs. 

Our PM&R physiatrists evaluate, treat and manage TBI, as well as its complications, including: 

  • Abnormal gait (walking)
  • Cognitive impairment (trouble thinking)
  • Headaches and other pain
  • Spasticity (muscle rigidity and uncontrolled movements)
  • Weakness

Rehabilitation treatment for TBI

Penn State Health PM&R physiatrists, nurses and therapists provide comprehensive rehabilitation for patients with severe to mild TBI. Our PM&R physiatrists may recommend one of the following treatment options:

For severe TBI:

  • Inpatient (inside the hospital) rehabilitation for patients who’ve had surgery, including physical therapy and medical management (when patients are evaluated by PM&R experts and approved by their insurance provider before being transferred to Penn State Health PM&R)
  • Transition of patients to a day or outpatient (not requiring a hospital stay) program for ongoing rehabilitation

For mild TBI:

  • Outpatient concussion clinic for managing pain and therapies for memory and concentration problems
  • Treatment of concussion symptoms, including headaches, mood disorders, problems with balance and abnormal gait

What to expect

Our PM&R physiatrists work as a team with other specialists such as:

  • Neuropsychologists
  • Physical, speech or occupational therapists

As patients go through our rehabilitation program, we work with your primary care providers to ensure a safe transition home. We:

  • Work together on your medical care, especially if there are other medical conditions
  • Help you find local resources for home therapy
  • Recommend home medical equipment and orthotics
  • Provide education to support your return to a healthy life

Referring Physicians

To transfer a patient, please call the 24-hour MD Network: