There can be a variety of aches and pains after a car accident. One particular area of the body that might suffer injury is the shoulder. Although many try conservative forms of treatment first, when they don’t work the doctor may recommend a procedure called shoulder decompression.
Injuries in a Car Accident That May Lead to Shoulder Decompression
Soft tissue injuries are common in car accidents. The first one that comes to mind is usually whiplash. However, another, very serious type can affect your shoulder. This is shoulder impingement, where the rotator cuff tendon is pinched by the bone on top of the shoulder.
Rotator cuff damage can also occur when an injury causes the bursa to become inflamed. This lubricating sac helps the tendon move freely. A torn rotator cuff is another type of injury that accident victims might experience. The injury can be partial or complete.
All of these shoulder injuries can cause significant pain and limited range of motion that may require surgery.
When Shoulder Decompression is Necessary to Treat a Shoulder Injury
As mentioned, the initial course of treatment for a shoulder injury is typically conservative. This may include restrictions on certain activities and even missed time from work to rest if job duties require using the shoulder. Additionally, a doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication.
When this doesn’t relieve symptoms or they get worse, other types of treatment may include cortisone injections and/or physical therapy. But when these treatments don’t work, shoulder decompression surgery could be an option. This surgery involves removing structures like an inflamed bursa or bone spurs to give more space to prevent impingement of other structures.
Prognosis and How It May Impact a Car Accident Claim
Many times this can be done arthroscopically, a minimally invasive type of procedure that requires only a small incision. An open surgery is much more invasive and depending on the types of injuries. The recovery is usually shorter with an arthroscopic shoulder decompression. But this also depends on the extent of damage.
The time period for recovery can range anywhere from a week to a few months. The nature of the injuries and extent of damage will play a role in healing. Part of the recovery will include rehabilitation. All of the costs for treatment, surgery and rehab may be addressed through a car accident claim if someone else was at fault.
If the injuries were severe enough that they prevent someone from returning to a line of work where lifting or other movement of the arms and shoulder are involved, this could also impact a claim. It may be possible to seek compensation for lost earnings if the plaintiff must take a job that pays him or her less.
These are just some of the damages for which a claim might seek compensation. Talk to an attorney to learn more about other options when another person’s negligence is the cause of a car accident and injuries. Attorney D.J. Banovitz helps accident victims in the Aurora area pursue their legal rights, so contact us today at 303-300-5060.