It is extremely common to suffer from shoulder pain or problems either immediately or shortly after a car crash, motorcycle, or bike accident, slip and fall accident, or after having been hurt in a work accident. The impact of these types of accidents can easily result in severe trauma to the shoulder and surrounding areas.
The human shoulder consists of a ball-and-socket joint with three main bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), the clavicle (collarbone), and the scapula (shoulder blade). These three bones are all held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the arm and shoulder. The shoulder actually has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the human body. Because of its mobility, the shoulder is much more likely to become injured, especially at the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which lays on top of the shoulder.
Shoulder Injury Symptoms
If you have been injured in a car accident and believe that you have a shoulder injury, you may have at least one of the following common symptoms:
- Painful, tender, stiff shoulder
- Shoulder pain that increases at nighttime, interrupting sleep
- Tingling, numbness, swelling, or weakness in or around the shoulder
- Focused shoulder pain that worsens with activity
- Difficulty with shoulder mobility
- Discolored shoulder area
- A “bump” above the shoulder bone where the shoulder may have separated
Common Post-Accident Shoulder Injuries
- Torn Rotator Cuff: The most common shoulder injury after an accident is the stretching, tearing, or ripping of the tendons and ligaments in the shoulder joint. This injury is typically common because of the force of impact, which can easily cause one of the three separate shoulder joints to separate or tear. This injury is accompanied by swelling, pain, and inability to maintain normal shoulder mobility.
- Fractured bone: One of the three bones that make up the shoulder may break or fracture in a car accident or other type accident.
- Contusions, Bruises, Strains & Sprains: Other injuries such as painful strains, swelling and bruising may occur after a crash due to the impact of the shoulder and another object.
What treatment option will ensure full use of the shoulder again?
- If you suspect that you have a broken bone or tear resulting from your accident, seek medical attention immediately. Do not move the shoulder; stabilize its position.
- Diagnoses can be made by orthopedic doctors through x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and clinical evaluations, wherein the doctor will assess your shoulder injury and prescribe treatment.
- The remedy can sometimes be as simple as the use of an immobilizing sling and the prescription of some pain killers and muscle relaxers to promote healing and reduce pain. Elevation, ice, and compression may also aid healing.
- A torn ligament, tendon, or muscle may require immediate surgery, so a speedy diagnosis is important to maximizing recovery.
- Pain may be stemming from elsewhere in the body (referred shoulder pain), so letting a medical doctor prescribe treatment is the best option.
- Oftentimes, surgery and subsequent physical therapy are used to treat shoulder injuries stemming from accidents.
How can I afford treatment for my shoulder injuries?
If home treatment and physical therapy don’t help your shoulder injuries, your doctor may recommend shoulder surgery. Surgery is not only risky and expensive, but it also requires time away from work, limitations on daily activity, and both time and money spent on physical therapy and doctor’s visits.
If your shoulder has been injured in an accident that was due to someone else’s negligence and carelessness, please contact our experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyers for a free consultation to determine the best course for obtaining the financial resources needed to pay for your lost wages and medical treatment. To set up a free, confidential consultation, give us a call at 314.409.706. Consultations can be done over the phone, by email, or in person at the location of your choice; we look forward to serving you.SOURCES: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/shoulderinjuriesanddisorders.html
Shoulder pain after a car accident? by Christopher Dixon
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