Long Term Prognosis of Soft Tissue Injuries of the Neck from Car Accidents

Long Term Prognosis of Soft Tissue Injuries of the Neck from Car Accidents

Dr Barry Marks, DC
Orange CA Car Accident Injury Specialist

Gargan and Bannister are two British medical physicians specializing in orthopedic surgery who have researched and written extensively on whiplash type injuries and the after effects of these injuries.

car accident neck pain
In a 1990 study of 43 patients who had sustained soft tissue neck injuries from car accidents and were being followed up on over 10 years later. The results showed:

  • 12% were free of any discomfort and considered themselves to be completely recovered from their injuries.
  • 48% suffered mild symptoms, which did not interfere with their work or personal activities of daily living.
  • 28% complained of symptoms that impacted their ability to work and enjoy personal activities that caused them to seek relief by frequent intermittent analgesics, orthoses and/or physical therapy treatments.
  • 12% complained of severe problems, were unable to work, and relied on constant use of analgesic, orthoses and had sought out repeated medical consults.
  • According to this study, 40% of whiplash injured victims suffered continued significant pain and disability more than 10 years after their accident. More shocking is the fact that only 12% completely recovered.

Other kernels of information from this car accident injury study:

  • 35% of motor vehicle collision injured patients suffered a delay in symptoms; their symptoms did not begin immediately, but rather developed over time.
  • Seat belts do not protect occupants from whiplash injuries
  • 2 years post accident seems to be the window of recovery. After 2 years, no further improvement is expected to occur.
  • Patients presenting with medically observed neurologic signs and restrictions in neck mobility were more likely to have chronic symptoms and disability.

This study is at direct odds with the assertion of many auto insurance adjusters who claim that “…most whiplash injuries tend to resolve on their own within a few weeks…” There has never been a peer reviewed, scientific study supporting this claim, but this study by Gargan and Bannister proves the opposite.

Gargan MF, Bannister GC, Long Term Prognosis of Soft Tissue Injuries of the Neck. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British); Vol. 72-B, No. 5, September 1990, pp. 901-3.

More information about Car Accident Neck Pain
Dr Barry Marks, Chiropractor Car Accident Expert
1745 W. Orangewood Ave, #114
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 938-0575


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