The Effects of Whiplash on Disc Herniation
Most Arizona Personal Injury Lawyers do not have the necessary medical education to definitively conclude whether whiplash in fact causes disc herniation. Furthermore, there is a split in professional opinion on the issue. However, it is clear that whiplash and disc herniation are related and common in most neck injury cases (mainly car accidents). Whiplash is the sprain/strain of neck muscles due to sudden “jerking” or “whipping”. Disc herniation results when the fibrous outer ring of the disc is injured, and the soft inner matter “bulges” out.
Whiplash and Disc Herniation Statistics Two studies addressing the relationship between whiplash and disc herniation suggest a strong correlation between the two. In 2004, a study conducted by Panjabi, Ito, Pearson, and Ivancic showed: 1) 25% of whiplash victims subsequently have herniated discs. 2) 20% of whiplash victims have herniated discs with radicular symptoms (pain associated with the inflammation of a spinal nerve root in the spinal column). 3) 39% of whiplash victims have degeneration 5-10 years after trauma. 4) Whiplash victims required dicsectomy (surgical removal of herniated disc material) and fusion twice as often as individuals who have not experienced whiplash. 5) Whiplash victims require fusion 8 years earlier than individuals who have not experienced whiplash. In 2001, Barth, Freeman, Broshek, and Varney found: 1) 72% of whiplash victims revealed single or multilevel cervical disc herniations. 2) 3% revealed lumbar or thoraco-lumbar (middle of the back) disc herniations. 3) 18% revealed spinal fractures. Reference: Panjabi, M. M., Ito, S., Pearson, A. M., & Ivancic, P. C. (2004). Injury mechanisms of the cervical intervertebral disc during simulated whiplash. Spine, 29(11), 1217-1225. Barth, J. T., Freeman, J. R., Broshek, D. K., & Varney, R. N. (2001). Acceleration-deceleration sport-related concussion: The gravity of it all. Journal of Athletic Training, 36(3), 253-256.
The take away from these studies is that whiplash injuries should not be ignored. Some whiplash injuries seem minor, however, you should always get them checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Many Arizona Personal Injury victims believe that due to a low impact of their car accident their whiplash injury and pain are insignificant . These studies show that the major consequences of the injury may come later in life, so treatment of car accident whiplash injuries is imperative to help prevent the onset disc herniations. For further information on Arizona Car Accident Whiplash Injuries call the Experienced Chandler Personal Injury Lawyers of Marco & Wimmer for a free consultation. We take time to fully analyze your case and injuries to ensure you address all potential short term and long term impacts. Let our 30+ years of legal experience work for you. Contact us today at 480-275-4894
Daniel Marco – Marco Injury Law
1166 E Warner Rd #101
Gilbert, AZ 85296
Email: [email protected]