Starting with the fact that the great majority of injuries of the cervical spine are in the nature of a "whip lash," and accepting the meaning of the term "whip lash" as a hyperflexion followed by spontaneous extensor recoil, the nature of a great variety of injuries of this section of the spinal column becomes understandable. The extreme mobility of the cervical spine, its known potential for pure dislocation unaccompanied by fracture and its wide anatomic departure from other sections of the spinal column seem to have made specific diagnosis of lesions in this section difficult. A number of important accretions of anatomic interpretation, diagnostic technic and therapy have occurred quite recently. Correlation of these new facts has served to clarify both the diagnosis and the treatment as well as to improve the prognosis.
TYPES OF INJURIES
Two degrees of injury are immediately separated by the severity of the accident.