If you have sustained a shoulder injury after a car accident that was not your fault, read on for types of shoulder injuries with treatment options and tips for navigating your personal injury case. The Bishop Law Firm represents car accident victims and we do not get paid unless we win your case.

Types of Shoulder Injury After A Car Accident (via WebMD):

  1. Dislocated Shoulder: This occurs when your arm bone pops out of its socket. Intense pain and inability to move your arm are symptoms. A forceful blow to your arm (like those experienced in car accidents) can cause dislocation. Treatment involves a closed reduction, surgery, immobilization, medication and/or rehabilitation. In most cases, the shoulder will be fine in a few weeks but in other cases the shoulder becomes unstable and repeat dislocations occur (Via Mayo Clinic). Many people can tell immediately if they have dislocated their shoulder because of the physical appearance of the arm and the terrible pain. Take photos of your vehicle, the accident scene and injuries immediately. 
  2. Separated Shoulder: Though separated and dislocated shoulders sound like the same injury, they are not. Separated shoulders occur when trauma tears a ligament that connects the collarbone to the shoulder blade. The collarbone may move and push against your skin at the top of your shoulder. After this injury, there will also be intense pain as well as a physical deformity. If the ligament tear is severe, you will need surgery and then immobilization (sling) while you heal (Via WebMD). Document difficulties with completing tasks of daily living as well as any time you miss from work. 
  3. Fractured Shoulder: The collar bone, top of the upper arm bone and the shoulder blade can all be fractured. Since the shoulder blade is surrounded by muscles and chest, a fracture in this area is the result of a extremely hard blow. Fractures are usually diagnosed by x-ray which is what hospitals most often offer to car accident victims. The treatment for the fracture depends on the location and type of fracture (Via OrthoInfo). Follow all medical advice and tell your doctor if you are not progressing or if the pain worsens. 
  4. Rotator Cuff Tear: There are four muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor) and ligaments that make up the rotator cuff. If any or all of these are damaged you have a rotator cuff tear. Acute tears in those under 30 years of age require a significant amount of trauma. Impingement syndrome usually accompanies a rotator cuff tear. There are non-surgical treatments such as steroid injections and physical therapy. If warranted, surgery to repair the rotator cuff will follow (via eMedicineHealth).  X-rays usually do not demonstrate rotator cuff tears and an MRI will be needed. 
  5. Bursitis: While bursitis is commonly caused by repeat irritation, it can also be caused by a traumatic injury. If your bursa is compressed during the car accident, this can result in a healing reaction. This healing reaction is bursitis. Treatment for bursitis involves reducing pain and the inflammation (Via PhysioWorks). Many clients seek chiropractic care after car accidents but make sure that your type of injury will benefit from chiropractic care. 

If you have sustained a shoulder injury after a car accident, please seek medical treatment immediately. Waiting to receive medical treatment not only endangers your financial recovery for your injuries, it is also bad for your health. The Bishop Law Firm represents car accident and other personal injury victims in Raleigh, Durham, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids, and surrounding areas in North Carolina. We do not get paid unless we win your case! Call us today for a free case evaluation, (919) 615-3095.