Post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Vertigo

What is Post Traumatic Vertigo?


Post-traumatic vertigo is dizziness, vertigo and imbalance that occurs following significant head injury. The underlying etiology of vertigo may be one or more of the following: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), perilymph fistula, cervicogenic vertigo, post-traumatic endolymphatic hydrops, labyrinthine concussion, or post-concussion syndrome. Furthermore, injury to the brain and/or cerebellum can negatively affect auditory, spatial, proprioception and/or visual processing, which can in turn disrupt hearing and balance.


Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Vestibular Testing:

Investigation into etiology of post-traumatic vertigo is likely to be multifaceted and multidisciplinary. In the realm of audiology, audiometry may reveal resultant hearing loss. Videonystagmography (VNG), perilymph fistula, and/or electrocochleography (EcochG) assessments may be utilized to tease out underlying cause of vertigo. Posturography can be utilized to assess patient’s balance in a variety of conditions that involve visual, proprioception and vestibular inputs in both static and dynamic conditions.


TBI Vestibular Management:

Management of post-traumatic vertigo, dizziness and imbalance is likely to be multifaceted and multidisciplinary. Canalith repositioning maneuvers may be utilized to treat positional vertigo, medical intervention may be required in cases of perilymph fistula, vestibular rehabilitation therapy and balance retraining therapy as prescribed by a physical therapist may be utilized to further address dizziness and imbalance. Refer to this link for more information regarding vestibular rehabilitation and balance retraining therapy: Please refer to the “Concussion and Post-Concussion Therapy” section for more information regarding management of concussion.