A frequent Chicago Car Accident Injury complaint that the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Morici, Longo & Associates are very familiar with is injury to the shoulder. These injuries include dislocations and separations of the shoulder. Unfortunately, many injured folks don't understand the difference between a dislocation and a separation. The difference is important relative to the initial treatment that is received and the ultimate course of treatment and resolution.
A dislocation happens when the head of the humerus (the ball at the top of the arm bone) "pops out of the socket" that makes up the shoulder joint. This is not all the difficult to do in light of the fact that the shoulder joint is a very shallow type of ball and socket joint. It's more like a cup and saucer as opposed to a typical ball and socket. Accordingly, the shoulder can be more easily dislocated than other joints in the human body. The mechanism for a shoulder dislocation usually occurs if the shoulder is twisted or if the arm or shoulder is pulled on abruptly and with great force.
Sometimes a dislocated shoulder will "pop back in" by itself or with movement by the patient. Often, though, a doctor will need to perform a procedure to push the ball of the upper arm back into the socket. Once repositioned, treatment will usually include the wearing of a sling to help keep the shoulder in place, resting the joint, putting ice on the joint to decrease inflammation and then slowly progressing through exercises to regain range of motion and strength in the joint and the surrounding tissues.
A shoulder separation occurs when there is a tearing of the ligaments that attach the collar bone and the shoulder blade. Two of the three bony structures that make up the shoulder joint, along with the third being the head of the humerus. This injury can be caused by a blow to the shoulder, for instance, during a Chicago car accident, or during a fall upon the patient's outstretched hand and arm, as often happens in a construction site injury. The treatments are similar as to those for dislocation including rest, a sling, ice to reduce swelling, and a period of exercise after the initial resting. If symptoms persist, surgery may be required.
If you, a friend, a family member or a co-worker have been the subject of a Chicago personal injury, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The trial attorneys at Morici, Longo & Associates are available to assess any potential claim that you might have. For more information call us at 312-372-9600.