In 2016, 6,520 construction workers in the United States suffered shoulder injuries. Many of these construction workers suffered physical pain, financial loss, and emotional trauma. However, every shoulder injury is unique. Whether you currently work on a New York construction site or you have already suffered shoulder injury on a New York construction site, it is important to understand the different kinds of shoulder injuries, what they may mean to you if you suffer one of them, and what you can do to protect your recovery.
Seven Types of Shoulder Injuries You Can Suffer on a Construction Site
Construction workers are at risk of suffering shoulder injuries because of repeated motions, overexertion, falls, and equipment injuries. These injuries may happen in an instant or they may develop gradually over time. Some of the specific shoulder injuries that a construction worker may experience include:
- Shoulder dislocations. This may happen if the arm moves suddenly or in an unexpected way and the bone comes out of the socket.
- Shoulder strains and sprains. Overuse or tearing of the muscle, ligaments, tendons, or joints may result in shoulder strains and sprains.
- Shoulder fractures or breaks. The shoulder blade or collarbone can break in a fall or when a heavy piece of equipment is dropped onto a person, for example.
- Shoulder impingement. This happens when the tendons in the shoulder muscles rub against the shoulder blade. Construction workers who repeatedly lift their arms—especially over the head—may suffer from this type of injury.
- Rotator cuff injuries. These injuries typically occur because of repetitive overhead arm movements, but may also occur because of a single incident.
- Tendonitis. When the tendons that attach the bones and muscles are overworked the tissue around the tendons may suffer. This can lead to inflammation, pain, and difficulty moving.
- Bursitis. When the small sacs of fluid (bursa) that allow your shoulder to move smoothly become inflamed from a sudden injury or because of the effects of repetitive motion, then bursitis may occur and you may experience pain and limited range of motion in the shoulder area.
While these are all distinct injuries requiring individual diagnoses and treatment plans, they may have similar impacts on your life.
What it Means to Live With a Shoulder Injury
A shoulder injury may prevent you from lifting your arm. You may be unable to take care of yourself. You may be unable to get dressed independently, to take care of your personal hygiene, or to fix yourself a meal. You may be unable to work. The pain, limited range of motion, and other symptoms may be too much.
Your treatment plan and your prognosis will depend on the specific type of shoulder injury you suffered and your overall health. Some of the potential treatments include:
- Immobilization of the shoulder and arm. This type of rest may allow your shoulder injury to heal.
- Surgery. If you have broken a bone or suffered a significant tear, then you may require surgery.
- Medications. Prescription medications may be necessary to manage your pain and decrease inflammation.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy may help you regain range of motion and shoulder strength.
The life that you used to lead may be unrecognizable, at least for a period of time—if not forever.
What You May Recover After a Shoulder Injury on a New York Construction Site
Your shoulder injury treatment may be expensive and those expenses may be incurred at a time when you are unable to work. If you fail to take action to protect your rights then you will suffer not only the physical and emotional pain that you are already experiencing, but you will also suffer financially.
Our experienced construction accident lawyers can help prevent you from suffering these financial losses. New York law allows you to recover for the injuries that you have suffered in various ways according to the specific circumstances of your construction accident. Your recovery could include compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and any lasting disability. Additionally, if a third party was involved in causing your injury, then you may also be able to recover for pain and suffering and other damages.
To learn more, please read our free publication, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone, and call us directly at 212.465.8840 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced New York construction injury lawyer.