Dealing With Rotator Cuff Injuries After an Accident

By Bill O'Mara, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

As personal injury lawyers, we often help patients who have suffered rotator cuff injuries. These kinds of injuries can be less life-altering or less severe, depending on the circumstances.

The rotator cuff is a large tendon at the upper end of the arm. It’s comprised of four muscles which together form a "cuff" over the upper end of the arm. These four muscles are the infraspinatus, the supraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. The rotator cuff helps us lift and rotate the arm and to stabilize the ball of the shoulder within the joint. Injuries can cause a good deal of pain and inconvenience.

If you fall or are in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, you may suffer a rotator cuff tear. It can also be caused by serious wear and tear with degeneration of the tendon.

If you suffer a rotator cuff injury, usually, you will feel pain in the front of your shoulder that radiates down the side of your arm. You may notice it most acutely when you try to lift or reach something or if you try to sleep on the affected side. The injury may cause a weakness when you move your arm and daily tasks such as combing your hair or reaching your back may be difficult.

If the tear is associated with the injury you may suffer acute pain, a sudden snapping sensation, and immediate weakness of the arm.

How Rotator Cuff Injuries Are Treated

If your injury is not severe, a conservative treatment such as ice and physical therapy, which can restore flexibility and strength, may suffice. Severe injuries that involve a tear of the muscle or the tendon, may require surgery.


Usually, if the first line of treatment like ice and physical therapy, has failed to reduce your pain, your doctor might recommend a steroid injection in your shoulder joint. This should help you sleep and function on a daily basis.  Shots can weaken the tendon so they should be used sparingly.

Surgery After a Rotator Cuff Injury

There are many types of surgery available after a rotator cuff injury. They include arthroscopic tendon repair, bone spur removal, open tendon repair, transfer of tendons and shoulder replacement. Some of these procedures are very complicated and costly. Shoulder replacement surgery is a last resort. To improve the artificial joint's stability, the surgeon will use a process called reverse shoulder arthroplasty which installs the ball part of the artificial joint onto your shoulder blade and the socket part onto your arm bone.

If you suffer a rotator cuff injury in an accident, you should first contact your healthcare provider. When you have been hurt due to the fault of another person, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer who will help you avoid the traps the insurance companies may set you. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers today at (757) 455-0077.

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