Coup-Contrecoup Injury

on Mar 24, 2020

Many juries have a difficult time understanding the concept of a coup-contrecoup injury. They don’t understand why a blow to the back of the head would result in damage to the front of the brain, or why a victim could have damages to both sides of the brain after only one impact.

For these viewers to understand, we must first start with an orientation to the anatomy. It is important for the viewer to see how the brain sits within the skull and how this soft jelly-like organ has room to shift back and forth.

After that, we can show them how an impact to one side of the skull can cause the initial injury to the brain but that the action of the cervical spine causes the head to rebound and snap back resulting in an injury to the opposite side of the brain.

Although the jury may not understand the physics of momentum, an animation such as this can certainly help to make the point.

Of course we could go beyond this simple representation of the impacts and show how these coup-contrecoup injuries result in disruption of the microscopic nerve cells within the brain, but that is a topic for another animation.

Click here to view this video on our YouTube page