The impact of an auto accident can put significant stress on the shoulder, causing a rotator cuff tear.
Car accidents can cause a variety of shoulder injuries, and a rotator cuff tear is common among them.
What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?
The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint and enabled us to lift and rotate our arms.
Rotator cuff tears can be of two types:
- A partial tear occurs when the tendon that protects the top layer of the shoulder is damaged.
- A complete tear is the one which goes all the way through the tendon. It may even pull the tendon off the bone.
Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Tear after an Auto Accident
The impact of a car accident can put significant stress on the shoulder and cause a rotator cuff tear. If a person suffers a rotator cuff tear in a car accident, he/she may experience the following symptoms:
- Pain: It worsens when the person lifts the arm or while lying on the affected shoulder. A severe rotator cuff tear can cause extreme pain and the muscles become sore.
- Guarding: The injured person tends to keep the affected shoulder immobilized and protects it at all times
- Weakness: The affected shoulder becomes much weaker compared to the healthy shoulder
- Clicking or popping sound: It happens when lifting the arm
- Inability to lift things as a person would normally do
- Having trouble raising the arm
Treatment for a Rotator Cuff Tear
Treatment of a minor rotator cuff tear involves pain medication, rest and heat, and ice therapy. However, for severe rotator cuff tear complex treatment is required. Before starting the treatment, the doctors would perform diagnostic tests in order to determine the severity of the injury. The doctors may perform the following tests:
- Physical examination
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the following treatments may be provided:
- Steroid injections to ease pain and inflammation
- Physical therapy to improve the shoulder’s range of motion, and to increase strength and flexibility of the joint
- Surgery may be needed in extreme cases to repair the tear
Seeking Compensation for a Rotator Cuff Tear
A severe rotator cuff tear can cost a lot in medical bills and may even cause you to miss work. If the injury is severe enough to require surgery, the medical bills may quickly escalate and the recovery period would be even longer. Huge medical bills and lost wages can put you in financial turmoil.
If the car accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover all your losses from the at-fault driver. In doing so, you may need legal help from a competent St. Louis auto accident attorney. The lawyer will ensure that all your losses are covered, and you get the compensation that you deserve.
St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys
A severe rotator cuff tear can cost a lot in medical bills and may even cause you to miss work. It is therefore important to seek legal help from a competent St. Louis car accident lawyer, who can help recover adequate damages for the injuries.