From car accidents to sports injuries, the head or spine can suffer what is called “neurotrauma” suddenly and seriously.

This can include concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and fractures of the skull and/or spinal column. If this happens, the Ayer Neuroscience Institute is ready to help with a team that includes neurosurgeons with advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of neurotrauma.

Screening & Diagnosing Neurotrauma

Most of the time, someone with a brain or spinal cord injury will come into the hospital through the Emergency Department and our neurosurgeons will be called to consult on the care plan.To help our diagnosis, we typically use diagnostic imaging technology like computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to better understand what is happening in the brain or spine.

To diagnose a TBI, we follow the following steps:

  • Conduct detailed neurological exams such as the Glasgow Coma Scale, a scoring system that helps us determine how serious an injury is by gauging the patient’s ability to follow directions, move the arms and legs, and blink.
  • Consult one of our neuropsychologists who can conduct a cognitive evaluation.
  • Collaborate with our physical and occupational therapists to evaluate your motor skills.

Treating Neurotrauma

Every injury to the brain and spine is different and Ayer neurosurgeons collaborate with neuropsychologists, neurologists, rehabilitation specialists, and others to create a tailored care plan that addresses the unique needs of each patient.

These plans are based on the type of injury a patient has and its severity. Mild injuries might just need to be watched for a period of time to make sure they improve, or physical, occupational, or speech therapy might be needed to help return a patient to full capabilities.

More severe forms of neurotrauma might require surgery. The Ayer Neuroscience Institute team offers a full range of surgical procedures to help neurotrauma patients, including:

  • Placement of external ventricular drains to remove cerebrospinal fluid from areas in the brain where it collected after an injury.
  • Monitoring of pressure in the skull.
  • Placement of a lumbar drain into the lower back to remove cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Craniotomy to remove a hematoma.
  • Craniofacial repair.
  • Repair of cerebral spinal fluid leak.
  • Closed or open reduction/traction for spine fractures.
  • Spinal decompression.
  • Spinal fusion.

Most people who suffer an injury to the brain or spine do improve with care, rehabilitation, and time. If you experience lingering symptoms once you go home, the Ayer Neuroscience Institute team and rehabilitation experts can continue to help you. Our ultimate goal is for you to enjoy a full, happy life.

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Meet our Neuro-Trauma Specialists:

Eric Sussman



Medical Group The Ayer Neuroscience Institute at Hartford Hospital
Hartford, CT 06106
More Locations
Torrington, CT 06790
Middletown, CT 06457

Ayer Neuroscience Institute