Shoulder Injuries, SLAP Tears, and Motor Vehicle Crashes
A shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint made up of the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). A fibrous tissue called the labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the head of the humerus to help it fit in the socket of the joint and stabilize it, as well as serving as an attachment point for the various ligaments of the shoulder, including one of the tendons from the bicep muscle. A shoulder injury lawyer Phoenix, AZ can advise a motor vehicle crash victim regarding potential damages claims.
A Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior (SLAP) tear is an injury to the top of labrum of the shoulder, where the bicep tendon attaches to the labrum.
A SLAP tear may be caused by a motor vehicle accident, a fall onto an outstretched arm, forceful pulling on the arm, rapid or forceful movement of the arm, trauma to the shoulder, dislocation of the shoulder, or by repetitive motion of the shoulder. A shoulder injury lawyer Phoenix, AZ can investigate fault and consult with experts, including an accident reconstructionist, the treating physician, a life care planner, there may be need for future medical care.
Tearing of the labrum can be a normal sign of aging. The symptoms of a SLAP tear can include:
- A locking, popping, catching, or grinding sensation
- Pain associated with the movement of the shoulder or holding the shoulder in specific positions
- Pain with lifting objects, particularly overhead
- Loss of shoulder strength
- A feeling as if the shoulder is going to “pop out of its joint”
- Decreased range of motion
- Cramping, tingling, and/or swelling
A doctor may order diagnostic films to ensure that there are no other problems with the patient’s shoulder, such as fractures or arthritis, however the SLAP tear will not appear on the x-ray as the labrum is made up of soft tissue. X-rays create clear pictures of dense structures, such as bone, but soft tissues will not appear.
The doctor may use a Magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) to show tears in the soft tissue of the labrum, and a dye may be injected into the patient’s shoulder before the MRI is taken in order to make the tear easier to see in the image.
SLAP injuries are often treated non-surgically through anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. If the patient’s pain does not subside with nonsurgical methods, doctors may recommend surgical methods of treatment, including an arthroscopy, in which a surgeon inserts a camera into the patient’s shoulder joint and uses it to guide thin, miniature surgical instruments.
Another related procedure is biceps tenodesis, to treat a tear in the tendon that connects the biceps muscle to your shoulder. After surgery, the patient will most likely use a sling to protect the labrum while it heals, and then the doctor may start the patient on a physical therapy program. Recovery from surgical procedures differs between people, there may be permanent injuries.
A shoulder injury lawyer Phoenix, AZ should provide a free consultation, and can advise a potential client regarding the possibility of settlement and the risks, costs, the nature of the litigation process. Contact the office of Paul Englander, PLC today.