Can head injury cause stroke?

3 answers | Last updated: Feb 11, 2015
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mom had a bad fall and hit her head on the side of the bathtub. A couple of weeks later, she had a stroke. Can a head injury cause a stroke?

Expert Answers

Nerissa Ko is an assistant professor of neurology and an assistant director of the Neurovascular Service at the University of California in San Francisco. She specializes in the care of patients with strokes and vascular diseases of the brain.

Yes. It depends on how bad the fall was and how hard your mom hit her head, but it's a definite possibility. Strokes can occur after a significant trauma, usually because a blood vessel gets torn, which is called a dissection. If a fall is bad enough, the lining of a blood vessel can tear and cause the vessel to close, resulting in a stroke. Such strokes usually occur in a delayed fashion, a couple of days or even weeks after the event.

It's important that your mom's doctor know about the fall. It could be completely unrelated to her stroke, but it's still important for the doctor to have that piece of history. A damaged blood vessel would probably heal on its own, but it might require a different medical treatment than a typical stroke.

Community Answers

Wslater answered...

I had a head injury which was followed by a stroke 4 days later and always thought they were connected, my Doctors told me they were not related.

Little bean answered...

Dear Hug/prayer; I fell and hit my head and I thought I was ok it was a very hard hit and injured my back and neck and 4 or 5 days later I had a stroke I woke up with it. I could not talk, or walk and kept falling over and had a weak left side and my eye sight changed and I drag my right leg so yes it can happen and It has been a year and I still drag my leg and slur when I am tired and no one here helped me I was on my own to learn to talk and still slur and tire easy.