Shoulder Injuries after a Car Accident
The shoulder is a complicated joint, and even a small injury to one of its component parts can lead to excruciating pain. When a person suffers a shoulder injury, they can suddenly struggle getting dressed, bathing, driving, and working. Depending on the injury, a person might be out of commission for months and even require surgery. Please contact Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. today to discuss your right to compensation.
How People Injure Their Shoulder in a Car Accident
Shoulder injuries are usually caused by trauma. When involved in a car crash, a person can jam their shoulder into the side of the car or into a passenger seated beside them. If they are not wearing a seatbelt, then their shoulder can be injured as they are tossed around the car. Sometimes, even the chest belt can dig into the shoulder as it arrests their forward motion but injuring the shoulder at the same time.
Shoulder injuries are sometimes slow to reveal symptoms. For this reason, a person might overuse a shoulder in the days following an accident in such a way that they aggravate the injury.
Types of Shoulder Injuries
As mentioned above, the shoulder is complicated with many moving parts. Essentially, the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, which is what allows the arm to move in a circular direction. (Compare your shoulder to your knee, which only moves like a hinge.)
Three bones meet at the shoulder: the shoulder blade (scapula), the collar bone (clavicle), and the arm bone (humerus). These bones are held in place by tendons, ligaments, and muscles. The “rotator cuff,” for example, is a group of muscles and tendons that prevents the head of the humerus bone from dislocating. Cartilage in the shoulder helps smooth the friction that can be caused by bones rubbing against each other.
An injury to any component part can lead to disabling pain:
- Fractures of the scapula, clavicle, or humerus bones
- Dislocated bones
- Strained muscle or tendons
- Sprained ligaments
- Injury to the joint capsule
- Damaged cartilage
At the hospital, a doctor will ask where you feel pain and manipulate the shoulder to better understand its limitations. Imaging tests like MRIs and X-rays can look closely at bone and soft tissue to identify the extent of damage.
Treating Your Shoulder Injury
Injuries can range from minor to severe. For example, a slight sprain to a ligament might cause inflammation and pain for a couple weeks. However, a bad sprain could completely tear the ligament, requiring surgery and longer rehab.
Those suffering from shoulder pain need a correct diagnose and prompt treatment. Minor injuries will worsen without treatment. For example, injury to the cartilage can result in arthritis, a degenerative condition that can ultimately lead to permanent disability. Even young people can suffer from arthritis following an accident.
Contact Us to Learn More
Our Florida car accident lawyers at Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. – Personal Injury can review the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident and identify your right to compensation. Please contact our office today to schedule a time to meet.