Rotator Cuff Injury After a Kansas City Car Accident?
Each body part is at risk of injury during an accident, including one's shoulders. At our Kansas City personal injury law firm, we see clients with shoulder injuries from car crashes, slip and falls or other accidents. These injuries can cause severe pain, swelling, muscle spasms, and loss of range of motion. A victim who sustains a shoulder injury may be out of work for several weeks or months while he or she recovers from the injury.
In some cases, an accident victim could require multiple surgeries and intensive physical therapy to correct a shoulder injury, including a rotator cuff injury. When a rotator cuff injury occurs due to the negligence of another party, our Kansas City rotator cuff injury attorneys can help recover compensation for damages and losses that result.
What is a Rotator Cuff Injury?
The rotator cuff is the four muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. It is this group of muscles and tendons that allow you to reach over your head and move your arm in different directions. Any injury to the rotator cuff can restrict the movement of your arm.
A rotator cuff injury can cause a great deal of pain or a dull ache. However, pain is not the only symptom that can indicate damage to the rotator cuff. Other symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include sleep disturbances, especially when lying on the side of the injury, weakness in the arm, and difficulty performing certain tasks such as reaching behind your back or over your head.
Without treatment, a rotator cuff injury can result in permanent impairment. A person could experience a permanent loss in the range of motion or permanent weakness of the shoulder or arm. In severe cases, an individual could experience progressive degeneration of the shoulder joint.
How Does a Rotator Cuff Injury Occur?
As stated above, car accidents can cause a person to suffer a rotator cuff injury. However, age, occupation, extra-curricular activities, and family history are also factors in a person’s risk of developing a rotator cuff injury. Rotator cuff injuries range from mild to severe.
Tendinitis occurs because of overuse of the rotator cuff. People with certain jobs that require repetitive use of the shoulders can develop tendinitis. Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the tendons of the rotator cuff from the underlying bone.
Rotator cuff tears and strains are usually caused by acute injury or trauma to the shoulder or from overuse. In a car accident or other injury, the tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff can tear or become strained. With a partial tear, the tendon is damaged but not severed from the bone. However, without proper treatment, the injury can worsen, causing a complete tear. A complete tear means that the tendon is no longer attached to the bone.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Rotator Cuff Injuries
Doctors diagnose a rotator cuff injury by performing a physical examination to test a patient’s range of motion and pain level. Imagining tests, including MRIs, X-rays, and ultrasounds, can also be used to detect damage to the rotator cuff.
Treatment depends on the severity of the rotator cuff injury. In many cases, a rotator cuff tear can be treated by immobilizing the shoulder to limit activity. The doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication and pain medication while the patient rests and limits activity. Applying ice can also help during the healing process. In some cases, steroid injections and physical therapy may be required for a rotator cuff injury.
However, if the rotator cuff is torn or the size of the tear is large, surgical treatment may be necessary to repair the damage. Surgery typically involves reattaching the tendon to the bone and/or repairing tears in the tendons.
Rotator cuff injuries can become worse over time. It is important to seek medical assistance if you experience shoulder pain, weakness, or limited motion after a motor vehicle accident.
Factors That Influence the Value of a Claim Involving a Rotator Cuff Injury
Several factors impact the value of a personal injury claim involving a rotator cuff injury. Your Kansas City rotator cuff injury lawyer should review your case carefully and thoroughly to identify all factors that can negatively or positively influence the value of your injury claim. Some factors that typically impact your claim include:
- The severity of your rotator cuff injury (whether you sustained a partial or complete tear);
- Whether you required surgery to treat the rotator cuff injury;
- If you needed physical therapy and how long you needed physical therapy;
- How long you were out of work while recovering from your injury;
- If you sustained a permanent impairment or disability that impacts your ability to work or your quality of life;
- Your age and medical history; and,
- Whether the injured shoulder was your dominant side (i.e. right-handed or left-handed).
A skilled, experienced Kansas City personal injury attorney uses the facts in your case to calculate the maximum value for your injury claim.
Contact a Kansas City Rotator Cuff Injury Attorney
At the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus, our Kansas City personal injury lawyer represents accident victims throughout Missouri and Kansas as they seek compensation from the party who caused the accident.
Call 816-203-0143 for a free consultation with a Kansas City rotator cuff attorney to discuss your case and your legal options for seeking compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.