Whiplash injury of the shoulder : Is it a distinct clinical entity ?

Published online: Aug 27 2005

Bisalahalli Narasegowda MUDDU, Rowena UMAAR, Winston Yew KIM, Mihalis ZENIOS, Ian BRETT, Yogi SHARMA

From the Tameside General Hospital, Ashton-upon-Lyne, United Kingdom


The pathophysiology of shoulder pain after whiplash injury remains uncertain. Patients with shoulder pain after a whiplash injury were recruited from the accident and emergency department in a prospective study to determine the nature of indirect shoulder trauma after a whiplash injury. Twenty patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was obtained in 18 patients. Three MRI scans confirmed acute shoulder injuries. Two patients underwent arthroscopic subacromial decompression after failure of non- operative treatment. In conclusion, whiplash injuries can result in indirect acute shoulder trauma, possibly through an acceleration-deceleration mechanism, and may be a distinct entity.