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Shoulder Pain After Car Accident

Car accidents are a commonplace where shoulder injuries occur.

shoulder injury xray

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries can occur during a car accident easily. Usually, shoulder impingement and whiplash are most common. Shoulder impingement happens when the rotator cuff tendon is pinched by the bone on top of the shoulder. Another type of injury that car accident victims experience is a torn rotator cuff. These shoulder injuries can cause severe pain and limited range of motion and may require surgical intervention, as a result affecting the everyday life of the victim of these accidents. We recommend speaking with an experienced car wreck lawyer for help as soon as you can.

What Are Some Common Symptoms Of Tears In The Shoulder Pocket?

Most symptoms of a tear in the shoulder socket are similar to that of many other major shoulder injuries. These include:

  • A feeling of instability in the shoulder
  • Difficulty reaching behind the back
  • Pain when arms are extended above the head
  • Locking or popping sensation or sound
  • Pain when performing overhead activities
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Inability to sleep on the shoulder and nighttime pain

Diagnosing A Torn Labrum/Torn Shoulder Socket

This injury requires the help of trained doctors and machine testing like MRI scans and possibly x-rays or CT scans. A doctor will also take the medical history of the accident victim, and ask how exactly the injury occurred. The doctor will perform several tests to determine stability, mobility and the kind of motions that cause pain.

How Is A Torn Labrum Treated?

For anyone to know what treatment looks like the doctor needs to judge the severity of the accident and the victims’ injuries. If the car accident victim is not experiencing serious pain, discomfort and other discomforts the doctor may just prescribe rest and anti-inflammatory medications. The doctor may also recommend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the labrum. This can greatly reduce the stress and tension on the labrum, and give it time to heal. However, if the injury is extremely serious, the patient may have to undergo surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is used when all other treatment options fail.

Different Types Of Shoulder Dislocations

There are three main types of shoulder dislocations that can occur when there is a blow to the shoulder. Those include:

  • Anterior or Forward Dislocation – this dislocation accounts for 95% of dislocation injuries. An anterior shoulder dislocation can be sub-coracoid, under the clavicle, retroperitoneal or intrathoracic.
  • Posterior or Backward Dislocation – usually occurs when the victim undergoes a seizure or an electric shock.
  • Inferior or Downwards Dislocations – these dislocations are rare and only account for 1% of shoulder dislocations. Inferior or downward dislocations cause a number of complications as such dislocation damages many vascular and neurological structures, tendons and ligaments.

What Are Some Common Shoulder Dislocation Symptoms?

The most obvious symptom of a shoulder dislocation is acute pain that originates in the shoulder and spreads to surrounding areas like the back, arm, chest, and neck. The arm cannot be moved from its position.

Some other symptoms include:

  • Severe shoulder pain.
  • Swelling and bruising of your shoulder or upper arm.
  • Numbness and/or weakness in your arm, neck, hand, or fingers.
  • Trouble moving your arm.
  • Your arm seems to be out of place.
  • Muscle spasms in your 

A visible distortion of the shoulder is seen and numbness in the affected arm is another symptom of shoulder dislocation. It is important to seek medical care after an accident, otherwise, the injury can lead to further complications.

Shoulder Dislocation Complication

Apart from the actual shoulder dislocation injury, one can experience certain complications as well, depending on the extent of the impact one faces in the car accident.

  1. A fracture in the humeral head is a commonly found complication and is associated with about 25% of shoulder dislocations.
  2. It has also been seen that about 75% of anterior dislocations have a Hill-Sachs deformity in the shoulder.
  3. At times, patients with shoulder dislocations can injure a nerve as a result of the shoulder fracture. A nerve injury often results in numbness in the nerve region. Never injuries often heal within a few weeks, however, at times, they can affect the strength of the deltoid muscle if it does not heal well.
  4. Older patients with a shoulder dislocation often have a complication with an injury to the rotator cuff muscles, which can be easily missed until the sling is off.
  5. A rare complication resulting from a shoulder dislocation is rupturing or tearing of the axillary artery, the main artery that supplies blood to the arm.
  6. A brachial plexus injury can also be an outcome of a shoulder dislocation.

Shoulder Decompression

Car accidents lead to many different injuries of the shoulder that can be hard to diagnose sometimes. There are many types of treatments available for shoulder injuries; however, when all conservative forms of treatment fail, a doctor may recommend a procedure called shoulder decompression.

Symptoms that may lead the doctor to consider shoulder decompression include:

  • Pain in the top and outer side of your shoulder 
  • Pain that worsens when you lift your arm up
  • Aching or pain at night
  • Weakness in your arm

When conservative treatment fails to relieve symptoms or when they become worse over time, a doctor may recommend physical therapy or cortisone injections.

What Are Shoulder Fractures?

Shoulder fractures are broken bones in the shoulder. There are mainly three types of shoulder fractures that can result from traumatic events, like a car accident and those include:

  • Fractured collarbone
  • Broken shoulder blade or scapula
  • Broken proximal humerus

Do not be afraid to contact a car accident lawyer that could help with the expensive bills after these treatments if the injury was caused due to someone else’s negligence. A fractured collarbone or clavicle is one of the common types of shoulder fractures. Other examples include a broken shoulder blade or scapula and a broken proximal humerus, which is the top part of the upper arm. Shoulder fractures often cause severe pain, and the recovery period can be quite long.

Contact A Car Accident Lawyer At Krasney Law For A Free Consultation Today!

The cost of treatment for a shoulder decompression is high and the lifestyle change is forever lasting. The costs for surgery and rehabilitation may be recovered through a car accident claim if the accident was a result of someone else’s negligence. If the injury is serious enough to prevent the victim from returning to his or her previous job, this will also impact the claim. Talk to a car accident lawyer today by calling Krasney Law at (909) 380-7200 for a free case evaluation.


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