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Neurology and Neurosurgery

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Traumatic Brain and Spinal Injuries in Children

How are brain and spinal injuries caused?

Children can be injured at birth, during infancy and during childhood. The injuries are usually accidental.

Common neurological injuries that can occur include:

  • brachial plexus
  • freak accidents that result in traumatic falls or blunt force trauma

Symptoms of a traumatic brain or spinal injury

Symptoms of an injury include:

  • worsening headaches
  • vomiting
  • seizures
  • lethargy
  • confusion

How is a traumatic brain or spinal injury diagnosed in children?

If a child experiences any traumatic brain or spinal injuries, a thorough evaluation by a pediatric neurosurgeon, pediatric neurologists and/or pediatric general surgeons is needed to decide on the best treatment option, including surgery.

  1. Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical and will ask for a detailed family and patient history.
  2. Your doctor may order imaging of the brain and/or spine using CT, MRI or X-rays.

Treatment for brain and spinal trauma in children

The Johns Hopkins difference involves multiple specialties in reviewing the cases of children with traumatic brain and spinal injuries. Neurosurgeons, pediatric neurologists, pediatric orthopedists, pediatric general surgeons, pediatric rehabilitation therapists, among others, join together to develop the treatment plan. The team will decide if surgery is the best option.


The purpose of surgery is to correct the traumatic injury, if possible. Depending on the injury, the surgical approach will vary from a simple repair to a more complicated procedure. Learn more about our surgical expertise.

After Surgery

Follow-up care is extremely important in tracking the progress of a child’s recovery. Your pediatric neurosurgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to make sure your child is making a full recovery.

To request a consultation or make an appointment, please contact Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neurosurgery at 410-955-7337.

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Maryland Patients

Pediatric Neurosurgery: 410-955-7337


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