Traumatic Brain Injury - Description


850.0, traumatic brain injury

907.0, late effect of intracranial injury...

850.0 to 859.9 are used for traumatic brain injuries, but 907.0 is used for the late effects. See TBI ICD9 (PDF Document 109 KB) for details on coding and related ICD-9-CM codes.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a sudden trauma to the head resulting in damage to the brain and is sometimes referred to as a head injury or acquired brain injury. TBI is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or related to birth trauma. The patient may or may not have experienced a loss of consciousness at the time of the trauma. TBIs are categorized as mild, moderate, or severe and symptoms can range from relatively mild (dizziness, fatigue, headaches) to extremely serious (seizures, slurred speech, confusion, loss of coordination, vegetative state).


No genetic factors have been identified.


The degree and impact of post-injury disabilities will depend on the extent of the injury, the area of the brain affected, and the age and general health prior to the injury. Impairments may be temporary or permanent, cause partial or total functional disability, and include mild to major psychosocial maladjustment.


Determining the prevalence of TBI in children is hampered by a number of factors, including inconsistent definitions of TBI and its severity, lack of definitive diagnostic criteria, and inadequate epidemiologic research. Causes of TBI vary with age; inflicted injuries are most prevalent in infants, falls in children aged 0-4, and motor vehicle injuries in older children and adolescents. [Keenan: 2006] In all age groups, boys are more likely than girls to have a TBI, and blacks more likely than whites. [Langlois: 2005] The estimated incidence of pediatric hospitalizations associated with TBI in 2005 was 72.7 per 100,000. [Bowman: 2008] However, a prospective study published in 2008 found the average incidence of TBI in individuals 0-25 years, both hospitalized and non-hospitalized, to be 1.1-2.4 per 100 per year, higher than previous studies have suggested. [McKinlay: 2008] Long-term outcomes of hospitalized children have not been detailed and the cumulative prevalence of symptomatic or disabling TBI is unknown.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that TBI rates in the U.S. vary by age and by sex. Children aged 0 to 4 years, older adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, and adults aged 65 years and older are most likely to sustain a TBI.


More than $1 billion dollars per year are spent on hospitalizations for pediatric TBI. [Schneier: 2006]

Helpful Articles

PubMed search on rehabilitation and management of traumatic brain injury in children: articles over the past year

Keenan HT, Bratton SL.
Epidemiology and outcomes of pediatric traumatic brain injury.
Dev Neurosci. 2006;28(4-5):256-63. PubMed abstract

Traumatic Brain Injury Module Authors

Authors: Teresa Such-Neibar, DO - 6/2009
Elaine Pollock - 6/2009
Reviewing Author: Judith Holt, Ph.D. - 1/2012
Content Last Updated: 6/2013

The authors listed above are responsible for the overall Traumatic Brain Injury Module. Authors contributing to individual pages in the module are listed on those pages.

Page Bibliography

Bowman SM, Bird TM, Aitken ME, Tilford JM.
Trends in hospitalizations associated with pediatric traumatic brain injuries.
Pediatrics. 2008;122(5):988-93. PubMed abstract

Keenan HT, Bratton SL.
Epidemiology and outcomes of pediatric traumatic brain injury.
Dev Neurosci. 2006;28(4-5):256-63. PubMed abstract

Langlois JA, Rutland-Brown W, Thomas KE.
The incidence of traumatic brain injury among children in the United States: differences by race.
J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2005;20(3):229-38. PubMed abstract

McKinlay A, Grace RC, Horwood LJ, Fergusson DM, Ridder EM, MacFarlane MR.
Prevalence of traumatic brain injury among children, adolescents and young adults: prospective evidence from a birth cohort.
Brain Inj. 2008;22(2):175-81. PubMed abstract

Schneier AJ, Shields BJ, Hostetler SG, Xiang H, Smith GA.
Incidence of pediatric traumatic brain injury and associated hospital resource utilization in the United States.
Pediatrics. 2006;118(2):483-92. PubMed abstract