Rotator Cuff Injuries: Causes, Recovery, and Collecting Damages
Shoulder injuries can place serious limitations on a person’s life. Among the most serious is damage to the rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons that keep your arm safely in the shoulder socket. Being involved in a car accident, truck wreck, motorcycle crash, pedestrian accident, on-the-job accident or a slip-and-fall accident may lead to a painful rotator cuff tear, which could require surgery and cause you to miss work for weeks – even months.
If you are recovering from a preventable rotator cuff injury, it’s possible that you are entitled to compensation to help cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages.
Call the Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates or use our online contact form for a free case evaluation. Our accomplished personal injury attorneys have significant experience with rotator cuff claims and can help you identify all of the contributing factors that led to your injury and determine who is at fault.
Our firm offers a satisfaction guarantee. If you are not 100 percent satisfied with our services during the first 30 days after hiring our firm, your case file and attorneys’ fee will be returned to you with no questions asked.
Another promise: If we don’t obtain a recovery on your behalf, you won’t pay us.
The Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates serve clients in Atlanta, Decatur, Lithonia, College Park, East Point, Stone Mountain, Norcross, Conyers, Riverdale, Duluth, Fayetteville, Loganville and across Georgia and the Southeast.
About Your Rotator Cuff
Essentially, the rotator cuff is the glue that keeps your shoulder together.
The shoulder is composed of three bones: your upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula) and collarbone (clavicle). It is also a ball-and-socket joint, which means that the rounded top (or ball) of your upper arm nestles firmly into a curved surface (called a socket) in your shoulder blade. The rotator cuff covers and connects the bones together, which makes it possible to comfortably lift and rotate your arm.
A properly functioning rotator cuff results in the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic. As a result, any injury to the muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff can be particularly incapacitating. Half of all rotator cuff injuries require surgical repair.
Emory Healthcare in Atlanta lists the following symptoms as possible signs of a torn rotator cuff:
- Dull ache in upper arm or shoulder;
- Pain that extends to the elbow;
- Discomfort when reaching overhead or behind the back;
- Neck pain that gets worse on the affected side of the body;
- Low dull headaches;
- Progressive weakness in shoulder;
- Range of motion problems.
Other signs of rotator cuff problems include problems lifting, sleeping on the affected side or performing everyday tasks like getting dressed or brushing your hair.
How Did My Rotator Cuff Injury Happen?
Rotator cuff injuries may arise from a variety of circumstances. A large percentage of shoulder injuries occur due to natural causes that stem from routine use or poor posture. Repetitive arm movements play a key role in rotator cuff injuries, which are common in some recreational sports (golf, swimming, baseball) or in jobs like painting and carpentry.
However, rotator cuff injuries also occur in traumatic situations. Shoulder injuries are common in auto wrecks and pedestrian accidents and may occur in tandem with other fractures and dislocations in the upper body. Falls can also result in acute rotator cuff tears, as can any other activity or occupation that requires heavy lifting, pulling or pushing.
Rotator cuff injuries manifest in three typical ways:
- Tendinitis: Occurs when the tendons in the rotator cuff become irritated and inflamed due to overexertion.
- Bursitis: A fluid-filled sac called a bursa lubricates the area between the rotator cuff and the shoulder joint and allows the tendons to move comfortably. Damage to the tendons can cause inflammation in the bursa, causing pain.
- Strains and tears: A forceful accident may cause a rotator cuff tendon to partially or completely detach from the head of the humerus. This may cause sudden, intense pain as well as a snapping sound or immediate weakness in the shoulder and arm.
Rotator Cuff Treatment and Recovery
If you sustained a rotator cuff injury, the first thing your doctor will probably do is perform x-ray or MRI scans and prescribe nonsurgical therapy to see if your shoulder pain will improve on its own. That might include strengthening exercises, steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.
However, if the problem persists (particularly when it comes to a lack of shoulder strength), the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons notes that the only thing that can help is surgery, which typically costs thousands of dollars.
Recovery takes a long time. The National Institute of Health says that it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to recover from a torn rotator cuff, and many people spend anywhere from 1 to 6 months wearing a sling. Missing work is practically inevitable – recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that workers who sustained a shoulder injury on the job required more than twice as many days off work as compared to people who suffered from any other work-related sprains, strains or tears.
The combined costs of medical treatment, lost wages and lost productivity can be astronomical for families. But the Accident and Disability Attorneys at Monge & Associates can help.
Injured Rotator Cuff? Contact our Shoulder Injury Lawyers Today
If you are suffering from a rotator cuff injury following an accident, call the Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates, or you can use our online form for a free consultation. We know how to gather all of the necessary resources to present a solid legal case so that you get the money you deserve. Remember, if there is no recovery in your case, there is no fee for our services.
Our firm represents clients in Atlanta, Decatur, Lithonia, College Park, East Point, Stone Mountain, Norcross, Conyers, Riverdale, Duluth, Fayetteville, Loganville and across Georgia and the Southeast.