People who have mild TBI may be more likely to have lasting functional deficits that get in the way of daily activities than patients who experience other types of injuries, states a U.S. study in JAMA Neurology. The study involved 1,154 patients with mild TBI and 299 patients with orthopedic injuries but no head trauma.The groups remained on a similar trajectory until six months after their injuries. After one year, however, brain injury patients fared worse. By this point, 53 percent of them still had functional limitations, compared with 38 percent of the other trauma patients.
At two weeks after injuries, people most often had difficulty completing work and other complex tasks. Social functioning was also a common problem. After one year, 17 percent of patients in both groups reporting struggles with work and other complex tasks. And 17 percent of brain injury patients and 18 percent of trauma patients had trouble with social functioning.