Extremity Weakness Following a Brain Injury

Any time the brain sustains damage, it can have a devastating impact on the survivor. From memory impairments to overall weakness or paralysis, a brain injury survivor’s life suddenly changes. Because trauma to the brain can result in a variety of adverse effects, most brain injury survivors have to overcome cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social, and physical changes.

One such physical change that can occur following a mild or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is general weakness. To be more precise, a brain injury victim may feel weakness and numbness in the feet, legs, arms, or hands. This is important to know because sometimes people aren’t aware they have suffered a brain injury since there aren’t always visible signs.

Weakness and Brain Injuries

It can take hours or even days for symptoms to develop following a head injury, but often one of the first symptoms to appear is a weakness in the extremities. It is important to note that a brain injury survivor won’t typically feel weakness in all of their limbs. The side of the brain injured will determine which limbs will be impacted. Typically, if one side of the brain is damaged, the opposite side of the body will experience weakness. For example, if the left side of the brain suffered trauma, a person’s right leg and right arm may be weak. Sometimes, just the lower limbs will be impacted, other times both upper and lower extremities will be adversely affected.

Pair of medical crutches isolated on white backgroundThe effects of extremity weakness are as follows:

  • Clumsiness. When a leg or arm is weak, a person may be clumsy because he or she cannot fully feel his or her hands or legs.
  • Balance issues. Extremity weakness in the legs can make it difficult for a person to have good balance and even walk.
  • Stiff limbs. When extremities are affected, the muscles can become weak which may result in stiff joints. For example, if someone has a weak arm, he or she may appear to have a straight arm or an arm that sharply bends at the elbow.

When extremity weakness occurs following a brain injury, a person may find it difficult to cook, clean, groom, work, drive, and participate in once-loved activities. In fact, when people cannot run or use their legs like they did prior to suffering a brain injury, they may have issues with their weight. When someone cannot carry on with life as he or she knew it, the victim should be compensated for such damages.

If you believe you have experienced extremity weakness due to a head injury as a result of medical malpractice, you should speak with a lawyer today. Even if you aren’t sure you have a case, you should learn more by requesting a free copy of our book, Do I Have a Case? A Patient’s Guide to Virginia Medical Negligence Law.