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7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lisbon - 4-7 June, 2005


The incidence of reported cases of whiplash has risen dramatically in many Western Countries.There was an initial increase, in the United Kingdom, following the compulsory wearing of seatbelts for drivers and front seat passengers but since then the incidence has increased even more. This pattern has been reported in other regions.

Many factors have been proposed to account for this increased incidence, including changes in car design, increased traffic density, psychosocial aspects and increased litigation.

Although whiplash injury is defined as a “minor” injury it may be associated with prolonged morbidity. The factors causing chronicity are not well understood but do include the severity of the initial injury (WAD 3 injuries doing significantly worse than WAD 1 and 2 injuries), the development of psychological symptoms, age and bio-social factors. Prolonged litigation and prolonged inappropriate treatment also lead to chronicity.

Theses abstracts were prepared by Professor Roger Lemaire. Correspondence should be addressed to EFORT Central Office, Freihofstrasse 22, CH-8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland.