Non-whiplash soft tissue injuries following low-velocity impact collisions: A retrospective analysis

Med Leg J. 2020 Mar;88(1):31-36. doi: 10.1177/0025817219875327. Epub 2019 Dec 20.


Whiplash is the most common injury reported in low-velocity impact road traffic accidents, but claimants report a range of other soft tissue injuries and we looked at the prevalence of these and any patterns. We retrospectively reviewed reports from the medico-legal practice of an orthopaedic surgeon. We collected data on 609 claimants. Sixty-two per cent were women (p < 0.0001). Majority (90.3%) reported an injury to at least one other area than neck, and 48% of claimants reported shoulder pain. Hand/wrist injuries were almost exclusive to drivers (p = 0.0013). Those with knee injuries were older than those without (p = 0.001). There was a significant difference in the age of patients with different spinal injury patterns (p < 0.0001). Occupational status did not appear to influence the pattern of injuries (p = 0.06). Psychological symptoms were associated with a greater number of body parts injured (p < 0.01). Our data confirm a strong association between these soft tissue injuries and psychological symptoms.

Keywords: Whiplash injuries; neck pain; traffic accidents.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / classification*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology