Occipital Nerve Release in Patients With Whiplash Trauma and Occipital Neuralgia


Dr. Torfi Magnússon, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, City Hospital, 108 Reykjavik, Iceland.


The results of 18 greater occipital nerve release operations in 13 patients were analyzed. All patients had deep aching pain in the occipital area due to a whiplash trauma, and in all cases the pain was relieved temporarily by local anesthesia of the occipital nerve. The time from accident to operation was 6 to 96 months. The results of 13 (72.2%) operations were reported as good or excellent, although complete pain relief was not attained in any patient. It is concluded that neurolysis of the greater occipital nerve after whiplash injury can give meaningful pain relief in selected patients.