Dr. Longo has both extensive clinical experience and extensive post-graduate training dealing with whiplash and traumatic spinal injury. These injuries can result from car crashes, sports, or even everyday mishaps such as slipping and falling on ice.
Whiplash is a common injury that can occur when the head and neck are rapidly forced backward and then forward. Research has found that up to 50% of patients suffering from Whiplash associated disorders have long term or permanent physical complications and reduced quality of life.
Whiplash in and of itself is truly a mechanism of injury, not a diagnosis. The term describes the whipping motion of the head being slung forwards and backwards. The injuries, or diagnoses, that occur as a result of whiplash are many, ranging from minor and self-limiting to fatal. Disc herniations, ligament tears (leading to spinal instability), spinal cord shearing, spinal nerve impingement, loss of cervical spine alignment, fractures, concussions, facet joint syndrome, muscle strains, and more can all occur due to whiplash.
The complexity of the diagnosis requires a doctor who is experienced and trained in how to properly evaluate a patient for all possible injuries. Dr. Longo has this necessary training and experience. Far too often patients visit a doctor whose practice does not focus on traumatic spinal injury, thus those patients do not receive adequate examination, diagnostic testing, and/or treatment. This contributes to the aforementioned statistic that 50% of whiplash patients have long term or permanent complications. For many patients, basic static X-Rays and a CT scan are the only tests performed. These tests are OK as front line screening tools in a triage situation, such as an ER or Urgent Care, but they are wholly insufficient to diagnose many of the injuries that result from whiplash. Tests such as weight bearing Digital Motion X-Ray, MRI, NCV/EMG, DTI, etc might need to be performed to properly diagnose whiplash injuries. The severity and type of injury will then lead to a customized treatment plan which could include multiple doctors from various disciplines as well as care in our clinic.