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Brain and Spine Trauma

Traumatic injuries to any part of your body can be sudden and severe, and may take a long time to heal. But injuries to your brain or spine can be especially devastating — even life-threatening.

Brain and spine trauma can happen for many reasons including falls, car accidents or high-impact sports. Based on how severe your injury is, complications can vary. You may lose consciousness, break bones, have bleeding in your brain or become paralyzed.

PeaceHealth cares for complex brain and spine injuries in children and adults. Your treatment team may include emergency medicine doctors, neurologists, radiologists, neurosurgeons or physical therapy and rehabilitation specialists. We’ll assess and treat your injury, manage complications and help you heal.

Brain and spine trauma care at PeaceHealth

Brain and spine injuries happen when you least expect it. That’s why PeaceHealth is prepared to care for even the most critical injuries.

Advanced trauma care is right here in your community

PeaceHealth is a Level II trauma center with neurosurgeons and air transport services available 24/7, we’re prepared to care for most brain and spine injuries.

We’re recognized for safe spine surgery

PeaceHealth has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. This means our patients have lower readmission rates and fewer reoperations.

We offer neurological intensive care

We’re one of a few hospitals in the Northwest with a neuro ICU. Patients with brain and spine injuries receive around-the-clock care from neurologists, neurosurgeons, critical care doctors and specially trained nurses.

You have access to the highest level of rehabilitation

Our inpatient rehabilitation center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Patients cared for in accredited facilities are often able to function better more quickly. This means they can return to their homes instead of a skilled nursing facility.

Conditions We Treat

Brain hematomas

These occur when damaged blood vessels leak blood in or around your brain. Epidural hematomas cause bleeding between your skull and the tissue that protects your brain. Subdural hematomas cause bleeding on your brain’s surface.


This type of brain injury is usually caused by a blow to the head. Concussions are usually not life-threatening, but they need proper care. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, confusion, memory loss or personality changes.  

Skull fractures

A fracture is the medical name for a broken bone. If you fracture your skull, it means you’ve broken one or more of the cranial or facial bones that your skull is made of. 

Spinal cord injuries

These are injuries to your spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves inside your spine. Symptoms depend on how severe the nerve damage is and where it’s located. The symptoms may keep you from moving, feeling and controlling different areas of the body.

Spine fractures

Spine fractures occur when you break one or more of the vertebrae (small bones) in your back. Your vertebrae can collapse, crack or be crushed into several pieces.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

TBIs happen from a blow to the head or when an object breaks through the skull. Symptoms vary, depending on the part of the brain that’s hurt. TBIs can cause long-term changes in brain function. These include problems with memory, multitasking, anger, depression, social interaction or understanding speech.

Treatments Provided


Neuropsychology professionals are training in understanding how the brain functions. They perform cognitive assessments to help determine the treatment and rehabilitation that’s right for you.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation

If you have osteoporosis, you may work with a physical therapist to help strengthen your bones with weight-bearing exercises. Your therapist will also help you improve muscle strength, balance and flexibility to prevent falls.

Spine surgery

PeaceHealth offers a range of surgical procedures. Whenever possible, we use the least invasive techniques available, including:

  • Discectomy or microdiscectomy – removes material from a herniated disk that’s pressing on the nerve or spinal cord.
  • Disc replacement – removes the damaged disc and replaces it with an artificial disc.
  • Spinal fusion – connects weak or damaged vertebrae to make them stronger, often using metal implants or bone from your body or a donor.
  • Laminectomy and laminotomy – removes part or all of the thin bones in the vertebrae (lamina) that press on the spinal cord or nerves and cause numbness and pain.
Trauma surgery

When a traumatic injury or critical illness occurs, trauma surgeons offer expert surgical care. We treat conditions that result from a car accident, fall or blunt force and treat surgery for those who become critically ill and need life-saving surgery.