The shoulders serve a very special purpose in a person’s ability to move their arms and perform essential activities like pick up an object, or hold a pen. When the muscles and ligaments that surround the shoulder are injured, the damage can be severe and life-altering.
Varying types of shoulder injury issues can include:
- Dislocated/Unstable Shoulder
- Frozen Shoulder
- Rotator Cuff Tears
These injuries can be the result of accidents experienced by drivers or passengers in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accidents and even sports injuries. Motorcyclists, bicyclists and even construction and warehouse workers all have potential shoulder injury exposure simply by the nature of their movement and vulnerability.
There are three bones that comprise the shoulder, including the upper arm bone, the collar bone and the shoulder blade. Each segment can reveal a differing injury, depending on the cause and severity of the accident that caused it.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is comprised of tendons and muscles, covering the upper arm bone and attaches it directly to the shoulder blade. Within this area is a bursa sac that allows for easy movement when the arm is swung in any direction. When these areas are injured, usually in athletes or those who practice repetitive motions including construction workers or painters, pain can be restrictive and unbearable.
Without your knowledge, the shoulder can stiffen and “freeze” and can be the result of a shoulder injury that caused frozen shoulder that releases loss of motion, stiffness and pain.
This injury unfolds in three phases:
- Freezing Phrase: Incredibly painful, with gradual loss of mobility.
- Frozen Phase: Subsiding pain, difficult movement.
- Thawing Phase: Slow regain mobility.
Treatment will speed up the process, and allow for mobility to be enjoyed at a quicker pace, as without it, symptoms can persist for over one year. Treatment can include cortisone injections, physical therapy and surgery in some cases. Frozen shoulder is more common in women, diabetic patients, and those with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Dislocated or Unstable Shoulder Injuries
The shoulder is dislocated more often than any other joint in the body. There are two types of slippage that occur when there is a separation in the shoulder bone: Subluxation, where the ball slips from the socket and moves back into place on its own, immediately; and dislocation where the ball becomes completely dislodged from the joint.
When this happens, in either capacity, tissue can tear and lead to larger, repetitive shoulder injury problems moving forward. Your physician will provide you with the proper treatment, beginning with a sling and exercise recommendations. In some cases, the dislocation may require physical therapy or surgery.
Arthritis of the Shoulder
Arthritis of the shoulder occurs at two places, affecting two shoulder joints: The AC Joint, where the shoulder blade meets the collar bone, and the glenohumeral joint, where the long bone of the arm meets shoulder blade.
The following types of arthritis are most common:
- Osteoarthritis: Wearing of cartilage, causing bones to rub against each other.
- Rheumatoid: Chronic autoimmune disease where the body’s defense system attacks the tissues, mostly commonly in the joints.
- Posttraumatic: Occurs after a shoulder injury that fractures or dislocates the shoulder.
- Rotator Cuff Tear: Damage to the bone surface causing arthritis to develop.
- Avascular Necrosis. Disruption in the blood supply to the top or head of the long bone of the arm.
Get Help for Your Shoulder Injury
Shoulder injury may begin with dull pain or a limited range of movement. Although some individuals believe that a car, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian accident will lead to soreness and stiffness, all injuries should be evaluated by a medical professional so that your mobility is never compromised.
If you have experienced a shoulder injury due to someone else’s negligence, allow our attorney group to assign an esteemed and experienced lawyer from Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith to guide you through the legal process, so we can pursue the offending party for your pain and suffering. Whether you were at work or simply walking on someone else’s property before slipping and falling, you have rights that must be upheld, and our attorney group will provide you with the facts of premises liability during our free consultation.