The nomenclature, mechanics, pathology and symptomatology of the minor injuries to the neck incurred in the socalled whiplash injury are reviewed. The common mechanism of this injury is shown to be hyperextension with recoil into hyperflexion, causing a sprain, of the soft tissues of the neck. In the more seriously injured, there may occur tearing and even avulsion of capsular and ligamentous structures of the neck. With injury to nerves and blood vessels, associated head and lower back injuries may also occur. Less commonly bony fractures of the neck vertebrae may be found. Attention is given to the delayed symptoms as well as to their perpetuation by various types of structural changes and by adverse psychologic emotional factors. Early and adequate treatment by an interested physician is imperative. Particular attention has been given to the time to settle the claim from the medical standpoint in relation to mild, moderate,and severe injuries. The proper ethical relationship between the patient, specialist physician and lawyer is briefly outlined.
Kenneth H. Abbott, Whiplash Injuries of the Neck, 6 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 473 (1957)