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      The Effectiveness of Infrared Thermography in Patients with Whiplash Injury


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          This study aims to visualize the subjective symptoms before and after the treatment of whiplash injury using infrared (IR) thermography.


          IR thermography was performed for 42 patients who were diagnosed with whiplash injury. There were 19 male and 23 female patients. The mean age was 43.12 years. Thermal differences (ΔT) in the neck and shoulder and changes in the thermal differences (ΔdT) before and after treatment were analyzed. Pain after injury was evaluated using visual analogue scale (VAS) before and after treatment (ΔVAS). The correlations between ΔdT and ΔVAS results before and after the treatment were examined. We used Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging equipment of Dorex company for IR thermography.


          The skin temperature of the neck and shoulder immediately after injury showed 1-2℃ hyperthermia than normal. After two weeks, the skin temperature was normal range. ΔT after immediately injuy was higher than normal value, but it was gradually near the normal value after two weeks. ΔdT before and after treatment were statistically significant ( p<0.05). VAS of the neck and shoulder significantly reduced after 2 week ( p=0.001). Also, there was significant correlation between ΔdT and reduced ΔVAS (the neck; r=0.412, p<0.007) (the shoulder; r=0.648, p<0.000).


          The skin temperature of sites with whiplash injury is immediately hyperthermia and gradually decreased after two weeks, finally it got close to normal temperature. These were highly correlated with reduced VAS. IR thermography can be a reliable tool to visualize the symptoms of whiplash injury and the effectiveness of treatment in clinical settings.

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          Effect of eliminating compensation for pain and suffering on the outcome of insurance claims for whiplash injury.

          The incidence and prognosis of whiplash injury from motor vehicle collisions may be related to eligibility for compensation for pain and suffering. On January 1, 1995, the tort-compensation system for traffic injuries, which included payments for pain and suffering, in Saskatchewan, Canada, was changed to a no-fault system, which did not include such payments. To determine whether this change was associated with a decrease in claims and improved recovery after whiplash injury, we studied a population-based cohort of persons who filed insurance claims for traffic injuries between July 1, 1994, and December 31, 1995. Of 9006 potentially eligible claimants, 7462 (83 percent) met our criteria for whiplash injury. The six-month cumulative incidence of claims was 417 per 100,000 persons in the last six months of the tort system, as compared with 302 and 296 per 100,000, respectively, in the first and second six-month periods of the no-fault system. The incidence of claims was higher for women than for men in each period; the incidence decreased by 43 percent for men and by 15 percent for women between the tort period and the two no-fault periods combined. The median time from the date of injury to the closure of a claim decreased from 433 days (95 percent confidence interval, 409 to 457) to 194 days (95 percent confidence interval, 182 to 206) and 203 days (95 percent confidence interval, 193 to 213), respectively. The intensity of neck pain, the level of physical functioning, and the presence or absence of depressive symptoms were strongly associated with the time to claim closure in both systems. The elimination of compensation for pain and suffering is associated with a decreased incidence and improved prognosis of whiplash injury.
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            Percutaneous radio-frequency neurotomy for chronic cervical zygapophyseal-joint pain.

            Chronic pain in the cervical zygapohyseal joints is a common problem after whiplash injury, but treatment is difficult. Percutaneous radiofrequency neurotomy can relieve the pain by denaturing the nerves innervating the painful joint, but the efficacy of this treatment has not been established. In a randomized, double-blind trial, we compared percutaneous radio-frequency neurotomy in which multiple lesions were made and the temperature of the electrode making the lesions was raised to 80 degrees C with a control treatment using an identical procedure except that the radio-frequency current was not turned on. We studied 24 patients (9 men and 15 women; mean age, 43 years) who had pain in one or more cervical zygapophyseal joints after an automobile accident (median duration of pain, 34 months). The source of their pain had been identified with the use of double-blind, placebo-controlled local anesthesia. Twelve patients received each treatment. The patients were followed by telephone interviews and clinic visits until they reported that their pain had returned to 50 percent of the preoperative level. The median time that elapsed before the pain returned to at least 50 percent of the preoperative level was 263 days in the active-treatment group and 8 days in the control group (P=0.04). At 27 weeks, seven patients in the active-treatment group and one patient in the control group were free of pain. Five patients in the active-treatment group had numbness in the territory of the treated nerves, but none considered it troubling. In patients with chronic cervical zygapophyseal-joint pain confirmed with double-blind, placebo-controlled local anesthesia, percutaneous radio-frequency neurotomy with multiple lesions of target nerves can provide lasting relief.
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              Quantification of thermal asymmetry. Part 1: Normal values and reproducibility.

              The use of thermography in evaluating nerve injury is based on the presence of temperature asymmetries between the involved area of innervation and the corresponding area on the opposite side of the body. However, interpretation of the thermographic image has been troubled by subjectivity. This paper describes a computer-calculated method of collecting data that eliminates subjective biases. Comprehensive normative data are presented on the degree of thermal asymmetry in the human body. The degree of thermal asymmetry between opposite sides of the body (delta T) is very small. For example, the value of delta T for the forehead (mean +/- standard deviation) was 0.18 degree +/- 0.18 degree C, for the leg it was 0.27 degree +/- 0.2 degree C, and for the foot it was 0.38 degree +/- 0.31 degree C. These values were reproducible in both short- and long-term follow-up measurements over a period of 5 years. The delta T's reported here were obtained from 40 matched regions of the body surface of 90 asymptomatic normal individuals. These values can be used as a standard in assessment of sympathetic nerve function, and the degree of asymmetry is a quantifiable indicator of dysfunction.

                Author and article information

                J Korean Neurosurg Soc
                J Korean Neurosurg Soc
                Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society
                The Korean Neurosurgical Society
                April 2015
                24 April 2015
                : 57
                : 4
                : 283-288
                [1 ]Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Inje University Busan Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea.
                [2 ]Department of Neurosurgery, Wexner Medical Center, Ohio State University, OH, USA.
                Author notes
                Address for reprints: Sung Hwa Paeng, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Inje University Busan Paik Hospital, 75 Bokji-ro, Busanjin-gu, Busan 614-735, Korea. Tel: +82-51-898-4244, Fax: +82-51-890-6144, shpaeng@ 123456empas.com
                Copyright © 2015 The Korean Neurosurgical Society

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Funded by: Inje University
                Clinical Article

                whiplash injury,infrared thermography,visual analogue scale,thermal difference,pain
                whiplash injury, infrared thermography, visual analogue scale, thermal difference, pain


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