Shoulder Injuries: What You Should KnowTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. March 06, 2019
The shoulder is the most complex joint in the body. It is, unfortunately, also the joint most prone to injury. From car accidents to slip and falls, shoulder injuries can be caused by a number of different factors. Once injured, a shoulder can cause life-altering medical problems.
The shoulder is composed of the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body and can be unstable because the ball of the upper arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it. The joint is anchored by ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Common Shoulder Injuries
Every year millions of people are treated for shoulder injuries. Rotator cuff injuries are the most common. Other common shoulder injuries include:
- Shoulder joint tear
- Shoulder instability
- Fractured shoulder blade
- Fractured collarbone
- Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
- Tendinitis or tendon tears
- Sprains and strains
- Joint injuries
Tests for Shoulder Injuries
When you see a doctor after an accident, they should order specific tests to help identify the source of your pain or other problems. These tests include:
- X-rays—to show any injury to the bones
- MRIs—to show any injury to the tendons and ligaments surrounding the joint
- CT Scans—combines x-ray and computer technology to produce a detailed look at the bones
- Electrical Studies—to evaluate nerve function
- Arthrogram—an x-ray with dye to better show the joint and its surrounding muscles and tendons
- Arthroscopy—a surgical procedure where the doctor looks inside the joint with a fiber optic camera.
Treatment and Long-term Effects
Some shoulder injuries can be treated with rest and a change in activities. Most shoulder injuries require some type of medication to help with pain and inflammation. A doctor may recommend a series of injections of numbing medication or steroids to help with the pain. Most shoulder injuries also require some type of physical therapy to fully recover. Rotator cuff tears and other shoulder injuries can require surgery as well.
There can be a number of long-term effects resulting from some shoulder injuries. Chronic pain and inflammation can be a result of this type of injury. In addition, you may have permanent problems with mobility. It is important to stick to your treatment plan to help reduce the impact of these long-term effects.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury
If you have injured your shoulder as the result of someone’s negligence, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case as soon as possible. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have experience helping clients with many different types of injuries. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation.