Whiplash injury

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Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery – British Volume, Vol 91-B, Issue 7, G. Bannister, MD, MC Orth, FRCS Ed Orth, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery1; R. Amirfeyz, MD, FRCS(Trauma & Orth), Specialist Orthopaedic Registrar1; S. Kelley, FRCS(Trauma & Orth), Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon2; and M. Gargan, MA, FRCS(Trauma & Orth), Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon3 This review discusses the causes, outcome and prevention of whiplash injury, which costs the economy of the United Kingdom approximately £3.64 billion per annum. Most cases occur as the result of rear-end vehicle collisions at speeds of less than 14 mph. Patients present with neck pain and stiffness, occipital headache, thoracolumbar back pain and upper-limb pain and paraesthesia. Over 66% make a full recovery and 2% are permanently disabled. The outcome can be predicted in 70% after three months.

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