An employee may have an acute injury or shoulder pain can develop over a period of time.
The shoulder is a very complex ball-and-socket joint with three main bones. Each of these bones are held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Because there are so many parts of a shoulder, a person can injure their shoulder in a number of different ways.
If an employee injures their shoulder while on the job working, they should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. A settlement is offered whether the injury is temporary or permanent. The amount of compensation an injured worker receives is determined by several factors, including the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Types of Shoulder Injuries
The vast majority of shoulder injuries involve the ligaments, muscles, cartilage, and tendons. In particular, workers are prone to shoulder pain and injuries because of repetitive, intensive routines. An employee may have an acute injury or shoulder pain can develop over a period of time. The most common types of shoulder injuries include:
- Rotator Cuff Tears – The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint keeping the ball of a person’s upper arm bone firmly within the shoulder socket. Employees who repeatedly perform overhead tasks for their jobs are more likely to sustain rotator cuff injuries. The pain associated with a rotator cuff tear is typically described as a dull ache felt deep within the shoulder. A person may also have weakness in the arm and have difficulty reaching behind their back or overhead.
- Dislocated Shoulder – the most mobile joint in the human body is the shoulder, making it susceptible to dislocation. When the upper arm bone pops out of the cup-shaped socket the shoulder is dislocated. Labral tears and Bankart lesions are common complications associated with a dislocated shoulder. A dislocated shoulder often causes weakness, numbness, or tingling near the injury or down a person’s arm. There may be an obvious visibly out-of-place shoulder. There is also generally intense pain and an inability to move the joint.
- Frozen Shoulder – This is characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. It is also known as adhesive capsulitis. Symptoms typically begin slowly, over a period of 1 to 2 years, and worsen over time. Treatment options for frozen shoulder include surgical and nonsurgical options depending on the severity of the injury. The goal is to control the pain and regain as much range of motion as possible.
- Arthritis – This is a condition where the smooth outer covering of bone wears down over time. The cartilage becomes rough as it wears away, and there is a decrease in the protective space between the bones. When this happens, the bones begin to rub against each other during movement and this causes pain which can be intense. The most common symptom of shoulder arthritis is pain. There is typically a limited range of motion and a paining grinding or clicking can be both heard and felt when the shoulder is moved. Pain during the night is also common.
In addition to these common shoulder injuries, peripheral nerve impairment, impingement, bursitis, and tendonitis can be added to the list. When an employee suffers from any of these shoulder injuries, it can mean time away from work, physical therapy, medication, steroid injections, and even the possibility of surgery.
If you experience and injury or begin noticing shoulder pain, you should not continue to use your shoulder and should seek medical treatment. If the injury is severe, you may not be able to return to your job.
Settlement for Your Shoulder Injury
If you injure your shoulder while working, you need to notify your employer and then seek medical treatment. You should also discuss your case with a workers compensation attorney. Taking the right steps will ensure you get your needed benefits.
Your settlement will depend on the type of shoulder injury you’ve sustained and the severity of the injury. If your claim is denied, or you are having trouble with your case at all, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann by calling (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form.