Post Concussive or Post Traumatic Vertigo and Imbalance

Chronic recurring vertigo and or imbalance can occur after major or minor head injury.

Some patients after [1] major or minor head injury have [2] chronic or recurring vertigo or imbalance. Several potential causes exist. Injury to the neck can cause “cervical vertigo/dysequilibrium”, see other discussion on this website of that disorder. The trauma which causes brain concussion can also[3] bruise the inner ear or cause inner ear contusion. Vestibular symptoms from head injury [4] can be lasting. A recently described entity called dehiscent superior semicircular canal can be part of the problem. In the latter circumstance, a head injury can transmit energy through a rare naturally occuring hole in the upper balance canal, injuring the inner ear balance systems. Other ear trauma can also cause imbalance and position change induced dizziness. Many of these patients have puzzling problems which [5] can affect ability to return to work but many of the more [6] mildly injured persons do return to pre-injury activity.


  1. Management of posttraumatic vertigo., Ernst, Arne, Basta Dietmar, Seidl Rainer O., Todt Ingo, Scherer Hans, and Clarke Andrew , Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 2005 Apr, Volume 132, Issue 4, p.554-8, (2005)
  2. Dizziness following head injury: a neuro-otological study., Davies, R A., and Luxon L M. , J Neurol, 1995 Mar, Volume 242, Issue 4, p.222-30, (1995)
  3. [Histopathology of nonacoustic labyrinth following head injury in guinea pigs].,Zhou, D, Xu W, and He L , Zhonghua Er Bi Yan Hou Ke Za Zhi, 1994, Volume 29, Issue 6, p.350-2, (1994)
  4. Vestibular disorders following head injury in children., Vartiainen, E, Karjalainen S, and Kärjä J , Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol, 1985 Jul, Volume 9, Issue 2, p.135-41, (1985)
  5. Diagnosis and management of post-traumatic vertigo., Marzo, Sam J., Leonetti John P., Raffin Michael J., and Letarte Peter , Laryngoscope, 2004 Oct, Volume 114, Issue 10, p.1720-3, (2004)
  6. Characterizing and treating dizziness after mild head trauma., Hoffer, Michael E., Gottshall Kim R., Moore Robert, Balough Ben J., and Wester Derin , Otol Neurotol, 2004 Mar, Volume 25, Issue 2, p.135-8, (2004)