What causes a shoulder injury in a motor vehicle accident? What treatments do patients typically undergo to relieve the pain and recover their range of motion? Shoulder injuries are common in motor vehicle accidents and individuals should closely monitor themselves for signs of injury in the days and weeks following a crash. Depending on the severity of the injury, physical therapy and surgery may be options the individual needs to pursue to recover their ability to work and engage in the activities they enjoy.
Shoulder Injuries and Automobile Accidents
The body can absorb significant energy during a motor vehicle collision, but it does this by placing significant stresses on the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This can cause tearing, micro-abrasions, and other wounds. In a motor vehicle accident, the seat belt prevents individuals from traveling into the windshield or steering wheel, but it does this by pressing against the shoulder. This puts significant strain on the shoulder blade, clavicle, and upper arm. The increased pressure can cause broken bones, dislocation, and soft tissue injuries.
Torn Rotator Cuffs
Torn rotator cuffs occur when the muscles and tendons that connect the upper arm to the shoulder socket are damaged. These injuries often present as dull aches that worsen over time. These tears can be partial, in which the tendon suffers damage but isn't severed. More severe injuries occur when the tendon is completely separated from the bone. These injuries can cause significant pain and loss of range of motion. In many cases, the shoulder will need to be immobilized until healing occurs. Determining the severity of the injury requires physical examination, and possibly CT scans, ultrasound, x-rays, or MRIs if significant damage is suspected.
Treating Shoulder Injuries
Most shoulder injuries will heal with immobilization and over the counter pain medications. However, if the injury does not heal, more invasive measures may be required. These include the application of corticosteroids to relieve inflammation, prolonged immobilization, or surgical intervention. It may also involve the need for physical therapy to help the individual regain their range of motion and ability to perform work-related tasks. Doctors currently have more than 100 tests available to identify the cause and severity of shoulder injuries which means there are plenty of ways to identify the root cause of the problem.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a Wichita law firm that represents clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois. Contact us today to learn more about shoulder injuries suffered in motor vehicle collisions or work-related accidents. We are happy to discuss your legal rights and the types of compensation you can pursue for your shoulder injury.