Diagnosis and treatment of car accident shoulder injuries
How much compensation you receive for your shoulder pain after a car accident — whether it was in Atlanta, Decatur, Sandy Springs, or Newnan — depends on the type and severity of your injury as well as treatment.
First, you need a diagnosis. Typically, shoulder injuries are diagnosed using imaging tests like an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. Unless an obvious and serious problem presents itself, your doctor may start treatment with RICE. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. You may also be treated with exercise and physical therapy as well as medications to reduce pain and swelling.
If this treatment doesn’t work and you are still experiencing shoulder pain months or years after the car accident, you may need surgery or another more intensive treatment.
Arthroscopic surgery may be necessary to repair a torn rotator cuff, remove scar tissue, repair torn tissue, or further investigate the source of the pain. More intensive operations include shoulder reconstruction surgery and joint replacement surgery.
Types of shoulder injuries
Your shoulder is made up of the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (upper arm bone). It’s a ball and socket joint anchored by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Here are some of the compensable shoulder injuries you may suffer after a car accident.
- Torn rotator cuff - You have four rotator cuff tendons and muscles located at the center of your shoulder joint where the ball meets the socket. The rotator cuff covers the head of your upper arm bone and keeps it in the shoulder socket to facilitate motion and stability. Damage to the rotator cuff can seriously limit movement and cause terrible pain. It can be caused by overuse of the arm or a sudden impact, like a car accident.
- Sprains and strains - Left untreated, a sprain or strain can develop into chronic shoulder pain that significantly reduces your ability to enjoy and participate in everyday activities.
- Dislocation - Instability may occur when the head of the upper arm bone is forced out of the socket by the impact of a crash or other blunt force. The dislocation may be partial (subluxation) or complete.
- Tendon tear - A sudden violent force can lead to torn tendons and disconnection from the bone. Rotator cuff and bicep tendon injuries are among the most common types.
- Bursitis - Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that provide a cushion between bones and soft tissues around a joint. In the shoulder, the bursae reduce friction and allow the muscles and bones to glide. When one or more of the shoulder bursae are inflamed and swollen, it’s called subacromial bursitis. With this injury, daily activities like combing your hair or getting dressed may become difficult or impossible.
- Frozen shoulder - When the connective tissue holding the shoulder joint together becomes thick and tight, the condition is called adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder. It is associated with stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint.
- Fractured, cracked, or broken bones - The shoulder bones most frequently injured in a car accident are the collarbone, upper arm bone, and shoulder blade.
- Shoulder impinged soft tissue - This happens when, as the arm is lifted, the shoulder blade rubs or impinges on the rotator cuff tendons and bursa. The pain often limits your range of motion and can cause bursitis or tendinitis.
Help for injured accident victims
You should always see a doctor after a bad car accident. In Atlanta, trauma care services are available at places like Urgent Care 24/7 at Centennial Park and Emory University Hospital Midtown. A doctor will give you a thorough examination and, if applicable, identify injuries like a concussion, spinal cord injury, or damaged shoulder muscles, ligaments, or bones that you don’t feel yet.
If you are the injured victim of an Atlanta area car accident, you deserve compensation for your medical expenses, pain, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. Gary Martin Hays & Associates, a trusted Atlanta law firm with a track record of success, would be proud to represent your claim and get you the compensation you deserve. We have gone up against the insurance companies and come out on top.
There is no out-of-pocket fee for your lawyer’s services. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers work on contingency, which means the fee is an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement or verdict. We give you our “zero fee guarantee.”
Do not wait to contact a lawyer. There is a statute of limitations in Georgia and a deadline for filing injury claims. At our law firm, there is someone available to hear from you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates now to schedule your free case consultation.