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Shoulder Impingement Syndrome Personal Injury Claims

Shoulder impingement syndrome personal injury claims can run the gamut from mild to severe and the treatments vary depending upon severity.  Following an accident, many people suffer injuries to their upper extremities, resulting in chronic pain and disability. It is important for you to understand the anatomy of your shoulder and what can happen if you are in an automobile accident or another traumatic incident causing personal injury. Shoulder impingement syndrome is one type of condition that you might suffer when you are injured. It has several causes, and there are a number of different treatments that may provide you with relief.

What is Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?

Your shoulder is made up of three main bones and four primary muscles. The shoulder joint is formed by the joining of your humerus, clavicle, and scapula. Attached to these bones and wrapping around them on the front, back and top of your shoulder joint are four primary muscles and their tendons, including the teres minor, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and subscapularis. The way in which these tendons and muscles are attached to and wrap around your bones create a capsule around the joints that makes up your rotator cuff. They hold your humerus in its place in your shoulder socket and allow your shoulder to move within its normal range of motion.

When you suffer a traumatic injury that tears your rotator cuff, you may also develop a condition that is called an impingement syndrome. This condition happens when your torn rotator cuff tendons rub against the acromion, which is the top of your shoulder joint. When the structures of your joint are disrupted, swelling can occur that causes the tendons to rub against your acromion. This type of derangement can result in significant pain. You may have an asymptomatic impingement syndrome because of degeneration in your shoulder joint that has occurred with age that becomes symptomatic after you suffer a traumatic injury to your shoulder.

Top causes of Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

There are several potential causes of shoulder impingement syndrome in addition to a preexisting degeneration of your shoulder joint. A traumatic tearing of your rotator cuff is most likely to happen from sudden acceleration followed by deceleration. The resulting rotational forces are too strong for your shoulder and arm to handle as they pass through your arm to your upper shoulder joint, causing your rotator cuff to tear. This type of trauma most frequently happens in car accidents when people clutch the wheel tightly while bracing for an impending impact or when pedestrians, cyclists or workers fall, using their arms to try to brace their falls.

Treatments for Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

When you are suffering from shoulder impingement syndrome, your doctor will likely begin with a conservative treatment approach. Initially, he or she will likely try to reduce the inflammation and swelling in your shoulder joint, which can help it to heal while alleviating some of your pain. This may include the application of ice or heat, and you may be given a prescription for pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs. Your doctor may also refer you for physical therapy to help you with increasing your range of motion while building the strength of your surrounding muscles. Other conservative treatments a doctor or therapist may recommend to you include therapeutic massage and chiropractic care. You may also be given some stretches to do each day while you are in the shower so that it is easier for you to perform them.

If conservative treatments are not giving you relief, your doctor may recommend that you receive cortisone shots in your shoulder joint. A potent anti-inflammatory agent, cortisone is only used if other methods have not worked because it can weaken your muscles. Some people can gain relief by choosing a regenerative medicine technique to help to regrow their damaged tissues. These methods may include injections of platelet rich plasma or mesenchymal stem cells directly into your shoulder joint to speed tissue regeneration and to reduce inflammation.

If nothing else works, your doctor may recommend that you undergo surgery. Your doctor may be able to perform your shoulder surgery with a minimally invasive, arthroscopic procedure. If your tendons are impinged, your doctor may perform an acromioplasty, which is a decompression procedure in which bone spurs are shaved off or removed to give you added space between your tendons and the acromion’s surface.

Following surgery, it may take you anywhere from 60 days up to more than six months to recover. During the recovery period, you will likely need to continue with physical therapy, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic care to improve your strength and increase your range of motion.

Copyright © 2017 · Steven Sweat

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About this Author

Steven M. Sweat, Personal injury law firm, Southern California, Los Angeles
Principle Founding Attorney

Steven M. Sweat, is the principal founding attorney of Steven M. Sweat, APC, a California personal injury law firm based in Los Angeles with offices throughout Southern California.  Steven was born in 1970 and grew up in Florida.  He attended Florida State University and graduated in 1992, Cum Laude.  He thereafter moved to San Diego, California where he attended and graduated from California Western School of Law in 1995.

For over two decades Steven has been litigating a wide range of civil claims.  He has been described as a "pit bull with a huge heart" and takes pride in helping...

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