Car Accidents – Rotator Cuff Tears

Very few people walk away from a car accident without an injury. Depending on the severity of the accident, an accident can cause injury to any part of the body. Although head, back and neck injuries are the most common physical injuries, rotator cuff tears can occur as well. When a rotator cuff tear occurs during an accident, it is considered an acute tear and can be a partial or complete tear. It is often painful and even debilitating in some patients. Immediate medical attention, as well as a consultation with a Staten Island car accident attorney, is recommended.


There are four muscles in the rotator cuff that control the shoulder joint. This joint allows the shoulder to move in various directions. It is made up of the scapula and humeral head, both of which play a role in shoulder movement. When the rotator cuff is torn, the range of motion in the shoulder becomes limited. In addition, fluid can accumulate, and calcium deposits and arthritis also can form if the problem if not corrected in a timely manner.


When a rotator cuff tear occurs during an accident, the symptoms are often immediate. You may experience a cracking sound and weakness in your arm after the accident.

Here are some other common symptoms you may experience:

  • shooting pain from the shoulder through the arm;
  • weakness and pain when raising and lowering your arm;
  • pain at night; and
  • a cracking sound when moving your arm in certain directions.

Seeing a Doctor

Further injury can occur if you continue to use your shoulder after a rotator cuff tear. If you have trouble performing daily activities because of intense pain and pain relievers do not lessen the pain, you should seek medical attention. Waiting too long can make the problem worse and make it harder to recover fully.Your doctor will examine your shoulder and check for any physical defects. He or she also will assess your range of motion. He or she may perform some tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to confirm if you have a rotator cuff tear.


About half of those with rotator cuff injuries choose surgery, while the others choose non-surgical treatment. Your doctor will assess your age, general health and the severity of your tear to make a decision.

Nonsurgical treatment includes rest, painkillers, physical therapy, exercises and steroid injections. Although nonsurgical treatments can help reduce pain and restore function in the shoulder, they cannot make the shoulder stronger. In addition, the rotator cuff tear can still increase.

If the pain continues, your doctor will recommend surgery, especially if you are very active or use your arms often in your line of work. Your doctor may recommend surgery if your tear is larger than 3 cm and has caused a severe amount of loss of function and weakness. In addition, chronic pain (lasting at least six months) is a factor for surgery. Surgery often involves reattaching the tendon to the upper arm bone.

Contacting a Staten Island Car Accident Attorney

If you suffered an injury from a car accident, you should consult a lawyer. You may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, including medical bills, treatments, surgery and lost wages. Your lawyer can review your case and determine your rights.

If you suffered a rotator cuff tear from a car accident, consult a Staten Island car accident attorney from Gacovino Lake & Associates for a free consultation. They are experienced at handling a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents. Call them today at 1-800-246-4878 and have them review your case.

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