Have you ever eaten a walnut ? Have you ever crushed a walnut shell and looked at the walnut, unbroken ? The shell’s insides look sort of like the inside of our skulls and the walnut looks a bit like a brain. The big difference is that unlike the walnut, the brain is not hard and it moves around in a fluid inside the skull. Sometimes the brain is injured because it bumps and crashes against the inside of the hard boney skull in a car crash, slip and fall or bike accident. Other times the brain twists and torques and nerves are torn by the shearing forces.
When these nerves (or “axons”) are torn, the result is “diffuse axonal injury” (“DAI”). Of these, 80% will result in MICROscopic tears, so you won’t see them. Brain injuries where there has not been a skull fracture or cut to the outside of the head with bleeding, swelling and discoloration, are hard to diagnoses. Many times, these “closed head injuries” go undiagnosed. In fact, autopsy and histopathic studies have shown that the extent of DAI always exceed that visualized macroscopically. Furthermore, these injuries are “Non-Hemorrhagic”, which means no bleeding, so bleeding tests for bleeding in the brain or skull will not show anything. This is why at Abrams Landau, Ltd., our Herndon Reston area brain injury law firm tells callers it is important to get thoroughly examined after a car crash, slip and fall or bike accident that involves a blow to the head or sudden acceleration or deceleration.