Experts hired in defense of mild traumatic brain injury claims often allege that mild traumatic brain injury recovery is uneventful in 6 to 12 months. Hearing a defendant’s courtroom doctor testify could lead one to believe that mild traumatic brain injuries are relatively benign and minor.

A new study published in Brain Injury sheds light on the high costs and health-care resources utilized in the first 12 months following a mTBI.

In this study, researchers reviewed 80,004 anonymized administrative mTBI claims from the OptumHealth Care Solutions, Inc. (Optum) database. Of the 80,004 mild traumatic brain injury patients whose records were reviewed, 60 percent were under the age of 26 and 54 percent were male. Most participants were diagnosed in emergency departments, except for age groups 11 – 17 years, for whom were most frequently diagnosed in outpatient settings. Approximately half (47 percent) received brain imaging on the index date; 98 percent of which received computed tomography.

According to the researchers, there findings showed “substantial health-care resource utilization and costs associated with mild traumatic brain injury diagnosis during a 12-month follow-up.”

Not such a benign injury!


  • Vladislav Pavlov, Philippe Thompson-Leduc, Louise Zimmer, Jody Wen, Jerome Shea, Hadi Beyhaghi, Seth Toback, Noam Kirson & Mark Miller (2019) Mild traumatic brain injury in the United States: demographics, brain imaging procedures, health-care utilization and costs, Brain Injury, DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2019.1629022