Shoulder fractures and trauma

Most Arkansas residents know that the shoulder is a complex part of the body consisting of numerous bones, joints, and tissues. An injury can be painful, and one's range of motion can be significantly affected as well. Some shoulder injuries are more common than others, while some require major force, making them rare except in incidents such as car accidents and falls.

Although many types of shoulder trauma can occur in car crashes, fractures of certain areas are uncommon except in cases involving high levels of energy. The scapula is protected by many surrounding muscles as well as the chest, making it difficult to fracture. A car accident involving a high rate of speed is an instance in which a scapula fracture could occur. Fractures of the collar bone and proximal humerus are also possible in an auto collision.

Signs of fracture include an appearance that the shoulder physiology is not quite right. Additionally, a fracture may affect a victim's ability to move and may result in serious levels of pain. Swelling and bruising may be visible, and shoulder movement may be impeded. The area of physiological signs may be indicative of the location of a fracture. Although diagnostic measures such as the use of X-rays may be necessary to identify all areas of injury after an individual has suffered shoulder trauma, initial treatment at the scene of a wreck might include immobilization and the use of ice and pain medications. In serious cases, surgery may be necessary to deal with fracture fragments.

Those who suffer major shoulder trauma in a car accident may be affected in their ability to return to work, especially if a lengthy recovery is needed and if a victim's occupation involves physical labot. In such a case, litigation might be considered if the injury resulted from another driver's negligence.

Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, "Shoulder Trauma (Fractures and Dislocations)", accessed on Feb. 9, 2015

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