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Shoulder Injuries After Oregon Car Accident

Shoulder injuries due to car accidents

A shoulder injury in a car accident can severely limit your ability to enjoy life and earn a living. If your injury was caused by another party, you should talk to The Herron Law Firm today about your legal options. 


Shoulder injuries are expreamly common in car accidents. There are two major causes of these types of injuries.

The most common reason for a car accident shoulder injury is bracing the body with the arm extended to the steering wheel. This usually happens because we naturally grip the steering wheel and extend our arms in a car accident. You tense your arm muscles to resist the tremendous impact forces, but the shoulder is not designed for this type of compression.

Another major reason for shoulder injuries is from whiplash. The shoulder can whip back and forth in an accident from the resistance of the seatbelt.

If you are a passenger, you probably braced your hand on the dashboard or car seat and caused a similar injury.

There are several shoulder injuries you can suffer in a car accident. Below are the most common ones.

Types of Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder Impingement

Rotator Cuff Tear

Labral Tear

Shoulder Dislocation

Shoulder Fracture

Shoulder Impingement

Car accident trauma can lead to stretching of your rotator cuff muscles or swelling. The swelling in your shoulder joint may make less room available for the bursa and tendons to move normally. This can squeeze the tendons and make it difficult and painful to move the shoulder.

Common symptoms of this injury are:

  • Shoulder pain when extending your arm over your head
  • Shoulder pain when you reach behind your back
  • General weakness of the shoulder muscles

Labral Tear

The labrum is cartilage that is connected to the outside of the shoulder socket. This rubbery material keeps the ball of your humerus bone in position. When there is a tear to this cartilage, this is known as a labral tear.

Symptoms of this shoulder injury include:

  • Pain when you move the shoulder, especially overhead
  • Feeling of instability in the shoulder
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Less range of motion
  • Grinding or locking feeling in the shoulder

Shoulder Fracture

A shoulder fracture happens when any shoulder bones break in a car accident. The most common symptoms of a shoulder fracture are:

  • Pain in the shoulder
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain where the fracture is when you move the shoulder

Rotator Cuff Tear

There are four muscles and connective tendons that comprise your rotator cuff. These muscles and tendons allow your arm to move in all directions. Car accident trauma can damage any of these muscles and tendons and cause pain.

Common symptoms of a rotator cuff tear are:

  • Crackling sensation and sound when you move your shoulder
  • Pain when you life and lower your arm
  • Dull ache in the shoulder at rest
  • Pain when you try to sleep, especially when you lie on the injured shoulder
  • Shoulder weakness when moving the arm

Shoulder Dislocation

This injury happens when the ball at the end of your humerus pops from the socket.

Common symptoms of  shoulder dislocation are:

  • Constant, severe shoulder pain
  • Bruising and swelling of your upper arm and shoulder
  • Trouble moving the arm
  • Feeling like the arm is out of position
  • Numbness or weakness in the arm or shoulder
  • Shoulder muscle spasms

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