Most people associate a rotator cuff tear with athletic activity – like boxing to weightlifting. They’re often caused by repetitive motions such as those required in some jobs that involve keeping the arms raised over the head. A car crash can also cause a rotator cuff tear.
Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendon tissues located in the shoulder that keep the ball joint and the socket joint in place so that the shoulder can move as it’s supposed. A rotator cuff tear is an extremely painful injury, sometimes accompanied by a shoulder dislocation, that can limit your range of movement considerably until it’s repaired. Without proper treatment, the muscles and tissues around it can degrade, leaving permanent damage.
How a crash can injure the rotator cuff
A car crash can cause a rotator cuff injury if the impact puts serious pressure on the shoulder. Of course, if you’re struck by a vehicle while you’re on a motorcycle or bicycle and hit the ground on your side, your shoulder can get the brunt of the impact.
If you’ve suffered injuries throughout your body, it may be difficult to notice just how sore and difficult it is to move your shoulder. However, when you’re being checked out by a doctor after the crash, it’s crucial to point out any shoulder pain – especially if you struck that area. They’ll notice a complete shoulder dislocation, of course, but will probably need to do an MRI to determine whether there’s a rotator cuff tear and how serious it is.
The severity of the injury will determine the treatment. It can range from simply having physical therapy to arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear. You want to get the treatment your doctor recommends sooner, rather than later, to prevent long-term effects.
Surgery, of course, can be costly and keep you out of work for weeks or even months, depending on what you do. If another person was at fault for the crash that caused your injury, it’s crucial not to settle with their insurance company (or the driver) until you know the extent of your injuries and how much you’ll need to cover expenses and damages. Having experienced legal guidance can help you avoid agreeing to a settlement that’s too low.