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Car Crashes and The Shoulder Injuries That Follow

Automobile accidents can lead to a wide assortment of injuries. Shoulder Traumas such as fractures and dislocations are very common injuries associated to roadway collisions. If you ever suffer shoulder trauma or any other medical condition, it’s critical to stay informed so you can talk to medical providers and get the best treatment available. Below we will discuss the types of shoulder injuries, symptoms, and treatment options so if you are ever the victim of a car crash suffering from shoulder trauma, you will be able to get a feel for the potential obstacles ahead on your path to recovery.

There are many types of shoulder injuries. Fractures are broken bones and commonly involve the clavicle (collar bone) proximal humerus (top of upper arm bone), and scapula (shoulder blade). Dislocation occurs when the bones on oppose sides of a joint fail to line up. Soft tissue injuries are tears of the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and joint capsule of the shoulder, such as rotator cuff tears and labral tears.

Symptoms of fractures about the shoulder are related to each specific type of fracture. Generally, fracture symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, inability to move shoulder, grinding sensation when the shoulder is moved, and/or a deformity. Most fractures are diagnosed with X-rays and by a physical examination. Sometimes, other imaging techniques such as computed tomography are needed, but often there are symptoms that are identifiable to the individual. Let’s take a look at some symptoms and treatment options for varying shoulder injuries that could occur after an automobile collision:

Clavicle fractures


  • a swelling about the middle of the collarbone area
  • an area that may have a “bump” that is actually the prominent ends of the fracture under the skin
  • shoulder range of motion is limited, although not as much as with fractures of the proximal humerus

Treatment Options: Most clavicle fractures can be treated without surgery, which is only necessary if there is a compound fracture that has broken through the skin or the bone is extremely out of place. Such a surgery would generally involve fixing the fracture with plates and screws or rods inside the bone.

Proximate Humerus Fractures


  • a severely swollen shoulder
  • very limited movement of the shoulder
  • severe pain

Treatment Options: If the bone fragments haven’t shifted out of position, that surgery is likely unnecessary. If they are displaced, however, surgery is usually needed and involves fixing the fracture with plates, screws, or pins. Alternatively, shoulder replacement could be required.

Shoulder Separation


  • pain over the top of the shoulder
  • a prominence or bump about the top of the shoulder
  • the sensation of something sticking up on the shoulder

Treatment Options: This treatment is highly based on three factors: the severity of the injury, the direction of the separation, and the physical requirements of the patient. If the shoulder separation is less severe, it is usually treated without surgery. If it is severe, however, then surgery is required to repair the ligaments. Often, professional athletes and manual laborers are treated with this surgery, but the results are often unpredictable.

Shoulder Dislocation Symptoms:

  • prominence about the front of the shoulder
  • inability to move arm
  • arm rotated outward
  • sensation of a dead arm

Treatment Options: Initial treatment involves reducing the dislocation, also referred to as putting it back in the socket. This generally does involve treatment in the emergency room. This involves the patient being administered a mild sedative and pain medicine, usually through an intravenous line. Then, the physician pulls the shoulder until the joint is realigned. After reduction is confirmed via x-ray, the shoulder will be placed in a sling or special brace. Additional subsequent treatment is based on the patient’s age, evidence of persistent problems with the shoulder going out of place, and the underlying associated soft tissue injury.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile collision, immediately seek an experienced and qualified personal injury attorney. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we can get you in touch with some of the best medical providers in the Clearwater/Tampa Bay area. We will document your entire recovery process, while collecting and reviewing your medical records and billing. We have several professional working relationships with some of the best medical providers this town has to offer. Give Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA a call today: 727-451-6900