Phoenix Car Accident Shoulder Injury Lawyers
At Breyer Law Offices, P.C., we see many car accident victims sustain serious shoulder injuries. T-bones tend to result in torn rotator cuffs, because typically the innocent vehicle spins, twisting and turning the occupants violently. However, many people suffer torn rotator cuffs from slipping and falling, or trying to catch themselves as they are going down to try to prevent their fall. Fractured shoulder blades and clavicles are also common, but so are dislocations, or soft tissue injuries. Many of these injuries are associated with chest injuries. Shoulder dislocations are also caused by the arm being forcefully twisted during a car collision. And if the accident or fall was someone else’s fault, that person should be held liable for your medical bills.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle or car collision that resulted in shoulder trauma, Arizona’s Husband and Wife Law Team is available to help. Our Phoenix car accident attorneys offer free consultations with a no-fee guarantee: you pay nothing until we have collected a settlement for you. Call us now at (602) 267-1280.
Phoenix Car Accident Shoulder Injury Client Testimonial
The symptoms of a shoulder injury include pain, swelling, bruising, and inability to move the shoulder. Most trauma is diagnosed with X-rays and a physical examination, but sometimes additional imaging techniques are necessary, such as a CT scan.
Many times, especially with a torn rotator cuff, the person may not know that something is seriously wrong with his or her shoulder. A torn rotator cuff is usually detected only by MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). The doctor will measure the range of motion in several directions and the strength of the arm. A doctor may also examine the neck to check for a pinched nerve or any other injuries that could be causing the pain.
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The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and several tendons that cover the upper arm bone (humerus). A torn rotator cuff can also occur at the same time of another injury, such as a fracture or dislocation. This injury most commonly occurs among adults around the age of 40. Although it comes from many activities, it is very common in car accidents because of the twist-and-turn motion.
People with a torn rotator cuff often feel pain in the front of the shoulder radiating down their arm. Initially the pain may feel like it is subsiding, but it will always be a persistent, nagging pain. Sometimes, there may be swelling, and many times, the person will feel an irritation to the shoulder. Can you lift your arm over your shoulder height without pain? Do you have weakness when rotating the arm, or cracking sensations? It may not necessarily feel like pain when you are just sitting around, but when you use your arm, it starts. The pain might be light and can be subdued with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen. Over time, the frequency of pain may increase and become more severe.
Torn rotator cuffs can be very debilitating because we all use our shoulders so much. With a serious shoulder injury, it might be very difficult to lift things, brush your hair, or even cook.
Non-surgical options include limited overhead activity of the arm, a sling, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy. If non-surgical options are not enough, a doctor may prescribe surgery depending on the size, shape, and location of the tear. An arthroscopic repair involves fiber-optic and pencil-sized instruments inserted through small incisions. Mini-open repair allows surgeons to complete the entire surgery with one small 4-to-6-centimeter incision. The final type of surgery is open surgical repair, which is used when the tear is large or complex.
After surgery, the arm is immobilized to recover and prevent further tearing. Complete recovery takes several months and begins with daily physical therapy. Most patients have adequate range of motion and strength around four to six months. Only 10% of patients who have rotator cuff surgery experience complications, including nerve injury, infection, deltoid detachment, stiffness, and tendon re-tears.
Fractures can be treated without surgery in some cases. However, surgery is necessary if there is an open fracture, meaning the bone has broken through the skin. Whether or not a patient has surgery or recovers with a nonsurgical method, he or she will need to keep the shoulder immobilized to heal. This probably means no work.
Many people will have surgery when they have a rotator cuff tear or fracture, and these surgeries appear very successful. Physical therapy after surgery can be very arduous, but it is necessary with the healing process.
If you are involved in an accident in Phoenix, it is important to let your doctor know right away if you feel pain in your shoulder. Otherwise, the insurance company will deny that your shoulder pain was caused by the negligent act of their insured. Not having gaps in treatment, and being able to show causation, are both important in a personal injury claim. In fact, they can determine whether or not a lawyer can successfully recover compensation for you. For more information, please contact our Phoenix injury lawyers at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., at (602) 267-1280.
- Torn Rotator Cuff Diagram
- Questions and Answers about Shoulder Problems (NIH)
- Rotator Cuff Tears - American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer