Long-term disability after neck injury - A comparative study

CC Joslin, SN Khan, GC Bannister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Claims for personal injury after whiplash injury cost the economy of the United Kingdom more than pound3 billion per year, yet only very few patients have radiologically demonstrable pathology. Those sustaining fractures of the cervical spine have been subjected to greater force and may reasonably be expected to have worse symptoms than those with whiplash injuries. Using the neck disability index as the outcome measure, we compared pain and functional disability in four groups of patients who had suffered injury to the cervical spine. After a mean follow-up of 3.5 years, patients who had sustained fractures of the cervical spine had significantly lower levels of pain and disability than those who had received whiplash injuries and were pursuing compensation (p <0.01), but had similar levels to those whiplash sufferers who had settled litigation or had never sought compensation. Functional recovery after neck injury was unrelated to the physical insult. The increased morbidity in whiplash patients is likely to be psychological and is associated with litigation.
Translated title of the contributionLong-term disability after neck injury - A comparative study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032 - 1034
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery
Volume86B (7)
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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