Soft-tissue injuries of the cervical spine. 15-year follow-up

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1996 Nov;78(6):955-7. doi: 10.1302/0301-620x78b6.1267.


Forty patients with a whiplash injury who had been reviewed previously 2 and 10 years after injury were assessed again after a mean of 15.5 years by physical examination, pain and psychometric testing. Twenty-eight (70%) continued to complain of symptoms referable to the original accident. Neck pain was the commonest, but low-back pain was present in half. Women and older patients had a worse outcome. Radiating pain was more common in those with severe symptoms. Evidence of psychological disturbance was seen in 52% of patients with symptoms. Between 10 and 15 years after the accident 18% of the patients had improved whereas 28% had deteriorated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neck Injuries*
  • Neck Pain / etiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Soft Tissue Injuries* / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Whiplash Injuries* / psychology