A car accident can often result in a shoulder injury. These injuries sometimes are caused by the seatbelt locking in during the automobile crash. Unfortunately, shoulder injuries are sometimes overlooked initially because the primary injury may be neck pain or back pain. By focusing on the primary injury, radiologists sometimes miss the secondary shoulder injury, which can compromise treatment effectiveness. However, new proposed protocols for emergency room radiologists may confirm the traumatic shoulder injury.
According to Medical News Today, trainees in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Radiology Residency Program developed new protocols aimed at drawing ER radiologists’ attention to the potential presence of secondary shoulder injuries. These protocols, which have been awarded the 2012 Gold Medal by the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) and were presented at the 2012 ARRS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.
The research team used images from multiple imaging modalities to illustrate the force mechanisms that cause the five most common types of traumatic shoulder injuries — dislocation, proximal humerus fracture, shoulder separation, clavicle fracture, and scapula fracture. For each type of injury, the team developed guidelines for the optimal use of imaging in diagnosing the injury. For example, they recommended that the goal of imaging acute shoulder dislocations is to “address immediate complications and identify risk factors which could lead to the development of chronic shoulder instability.” With simple and practical protocols for understanding the mechanisms of primary shoulder injuries, appropriate treatment can be started to reduce the limitations and restrictions caused by a shoulder injury.
As a side note, the new Florida PIP law restricting payment of PIP benefits after a car accident to only those injuries diagnosed within the first 14 days after the car accident could have a horrible impact of treatment for these types of shoulder injuries caused in automobile accidents. If the shoulder injury is not properly addressed in the beginning, the injured person is not allowed to use the insurance coverage he or she paid for for injuries that are clearly related to the car accident. This is just one more example of how the Florida legislature puts self-interest in front of the citizen’s interests and passes the PIP law without appreciating the impact it will have on getting proper medical care after a car accident.
So, if you or your friend or family members are injured in a car accident, it is important that they seek an evaluation for a possible shoulder injury immediately. The consequences of later-discovered shoulder injury could have life-changing impact especially if there is no PIP insurance benefits to provide treatment for the automobile-accident caused shoulder injury.
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes has represented many car accident clients who are diagnosed with a shoulder injury after the neck pain and spasm subside a bit. His Clearwater personal injury law firm — Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes — has been caring for clients after automobile accident, motorcycle crashes, and other accident types since 1955. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes at 727-796-8282 to schedule a free case consultation or simply click here to contact Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes.