Injuries to shoulders and rotator cuffs as a result of a work accident or job hazards occur more often than most people realize. Though generally associated with heavy lifting or the physically demanding jobs, rotator cuff injuries can and do occur in office type jobs as well. If you injured your shoulder or rotator cuff while in the course and scope of your employment, the worker’s compensation carrier generally follows a standard treatment protocol. Initially, you will be evaluated by a walk in clinic. The clinic will most likely perform an x-ray of your shoulder. If you have a rotator cuff injury, the x-ray will not reveal anything. Depending on your level of pain and residual functional capacity, meaning what range of motion you have in your shoulder and how much you can or cannot do with it, you will be assigned work restrictions. Your work restrictions will be one of 3 categories:
- Return to work without restrictions.
- Return to work with restrictions.
- No work status.
The second category regarding a return to work with restrictions is a bit complicated. It is best for you to contact our office for a free consultation to discuss the meaning of return to work with restrictions and how it applies to you specifically. You can call us at 727-451-6900 or contact us here. The reason a determination of your work status is important is because your work status determines your eligibility for payment of lost wages. We can help explain the process to you and calculate what you’re entitled to receive.
The next step is a referral to an orthopedic specialist. You may undergo an MRI before you see the orthopedic or after your initial appointment. An MRI is necessary to determine the nature and extent of the injury to your shoulder. The course of treatment usually begins with either physical therapy or cortisone injections. This orthopedic physician will also assign work restrictions, which can also discuss with you. If your symptoms do not resolve, the question becomes whether or not surgical intervention would be of any benefit. The surgeries performed in regard to shoulder injuries are generally not too complex. At least not in comparison to the surgeries performed on your spine from a work related spinal cord injury.
If you undergo surgery, you will be placed on a no work status for a period of time. You are likely to undergo physical therapy and eventually reach a point of maximum medical improvement, also called MMI. When you reach MMI, an impairment rating will be assigned. We can discuss the significance of the impairment rating and payment of what are called impairment benefits during any free consultation. There’s no risk or reason not to contact us for information. We encourage you to obtain all the information you can, but caution you to ensure that you are receiving information from the best source.
There are many misconceptions and false information provided to people injured on the job. Don’t be one of them. If anything, contact us for the sole purpose of knowing your rights and what benefits you’re eligible for. Again, our number is 727-451-6900 or you can visit our contact page to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney.