After a car accident, you may be so concerned with lawyers, insurance companies, and bills that you don’t even notice that headaches have become a regular occurrence. If you were cleared by first responders at the accident scene, it can be easy to brush these off as stress-related headaches. However, traumatic brain injuries are common after an accident, and headaches may be one of the first symptoms. A visit to a clinic for an MRI in Atlanta is always a good idea to rule out concussions or other serious conditions. But how can an MRI help you recognize injuries to the brain?
Warning Signs of Brain Injury
Commonly referred to as a TBI, a traumatic brain injury usually occurs when you experience a violent blow to the head, and can also involve penetration of brain tissue. During a car accident, the head often hits against a hard surface, which can cause a TBI. The violent movement that causes whiplash can also lead to concussions when the brain is jostled so that it hits against the skull. Mild brain injuries may lead to temporary effects on brain cells, while more severe cases can cause bruising, bleeding, and other physical damage that causes physical brain damage.
If there is even a mild chance you have suffered a brain injury, you should seek medical attention quickly. Symptoms may not appear for a few days after the accident and may come in small bursts- these are still worth checking out. Common symptoms are headaches, nausea and vomiting, or fatigue. In addition to more physical symptoms like these, you may notice cognitive changes if you have injured your brain. Lack of memory or inability to concentrate are common, as well as slurred speech or confusion about the date and time.
Why Choose an MRI?
While you will discuss symptoms with your doctor as a part of your diagnosis, one of the best ways to determine prognostic information for a brain injury is to perform an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging. This procedure allows doctors to receive a clear image of the brain and locate any potential damage with precision. This visualization can also help with determining the severity of the damage.
CT scans used to be more commonly used to identify brain injuries than MRIs or other counterparts. However, in the past, most MRIs in Atlanta were only able to identify severe damage to brain tissue. But as more recent versions of the technology become available, doctors are better able to see mild injuries and concussions when using MRIs. These new techniques can show more in-depth brain structure and measurements of brain function that allow doctors to detect changes as a result of these injuries. As these abilities have emerged, MRI has become the scan of choice for identifying TBIs.
Another benefit of MRIs is that they do not involve exposure to radiation like CT scans or x-rays. While an MRI often lasts from thirty to ninety minutes, the extended period of time is safer due to a lack of exposure. MRIs also do not typically require any medication to be administered, so you can go about your day once it has been completed.
When to Get an MRI in Atlanta
If you begin experiencing symptoms of a TBI, you should seek out a doctor who can perform an MRI in Atlanta as soon as possible. When left untreated, these injuries can cause long-term damage and increase the likelihood of future degenerative disorders. However, if you have been in a car accident, you are already at risk for a brain injury and should undergo an MRI before symptoms have the chance to appear.
Early detection of brain injuries can lead to substantially shorter recoveries and improved outcomes. Before you or your doctor would notice a problem, an MRI can identify the brain injury in the critical first 48 hours after it has been sustained and begin making a plan from there. The more time that elapses between sustaining and treating the brain injury, the more likely you are to suffer from secondary injuries that result from the initial trauma.
When you come to AICA Orthopedics for your brain imaging, we are able to provide not only expertise in car accident injuries, but a comprehensive plan of care. Our radiologists will perform your MRI in Atlanta while our staff of expert doctors and chiropractors evaluate the results and develop a course of treatment. AICA Orthopedics sees car accident victims daily and can help determine the severity of an injury and guide you towards the most effective recovery. Contact us today!