"Common Shoulder Injuries After A Slip and Fall Accident"
by Terri Robinette
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Shoulder pain or problems are extremely common immediately or shortly after a car wreck, motorcycle, or bike accident, slip and fall, or after having been hurt in a work accident. Severe trauma to the shoulder joint caused by the impact of a traumatic accident can result in several different types of shoulder injuries.

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with three main bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), collarbone (clavicle), and shoulder blade (scapula). These bones are held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. Because of this mobility, the shoulder is more likely to be injured, especially the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which lays over the top of the shoulder.

Common symptoms of shoulder injury:

Painfully tender, stiff shoulder that hurts more at night and may interrupt sleeping

Tingling, numbness, weakness, or swelling in shoulder

Shoulder pain in a specific spot that may worsen with exertion

Difficulty moving arm in any direction without pain

Sudden, intense pain in shoulder area

Pale, blue or otherwise discolored shoulder area

Common shoulder injuries you may experience after an accident:

Rotator cuff tear: the most common shoulder injury after an accident is a stretching, tear, or rip in the tendons and ligaments in the shoulder joint. The shoulder has three separate joints, and any of these joints can be separated, causing extreme pain and loss of movement;

Fractured bone

Bruises

Strains and sprains

What treatment do I need to regain full use of my shoulder?

If you suspect a broken bone or tear resulting from your accident, seek medical care immediately. Do not move the shoulder; stabilize its position.

Shoulder injuries can be accurately diagnosed by an orthopedic doctor through tests such as x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and clinical evaluation.

The remedy may be as simple as the use of a sling to immobilize your arm and rest your shoulder to promote healing and reduce pain.

Elevation, compression, and ice may also aid healing.

A torn muscle or ligament or tendon may require prompt surgery, so an early diagnosis is essential for maximizing your recovery.

Pain can be coming from somewhere else in your body (referred shoulder pain), so accurate, as well as early, diagnosis is essential.

Physical therapy

Surgery

How am I going to afford treatment for my shoulder injury?

If a combination of home treatment and physical therapy does not help your shoulder injury, shoulder surgery may be required. Surgery is not only expensive, but will require recovery time away from your workplace, limitations on your daily activities, and time and money spent on physical therapy and doctor's visits. If your shoulder has been injured due to someone else's carelessness or negligence, your best recourse may be to contact a personal injury attorney.

Contact the Author

Terri Robinette

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