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Shouldering the Load -- Why Shoulder Injuries are Common in Atlanta Car Wrecks

Shoulders are very vulnerable to injury in Atlanta car accidents. Here’s why:

A shoulder is an extremely complex part of the body, with a lot of moving parts working in concert. One key component of the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint (shoulder socket) in which the ball at the end of the arm’s humerus bone (upper arm) rests within a small depression of the scapula (shoulder blade); however, the ball is larger than the socket. This allows the joint to swivel in many directions, providing great range of motion. But this benefit comes at a price.

That price is instability of the shoulder joint. What stability the shoulder does have originates from the soft tissues—muscles, tendons, and ligaments—that wrap around it, not from bone, meaning the shoulder is more susceptible to injury.

Soft-tissue damage, fractures (i.e., collarbone, shoulder blade, humerus), nerve impairment, shoulder separations (collarbone separates from the shoulder blade), torn rotator cuff (damage to tendons covering the shoulder), and bone dislocations are some of the common injuries affecting the shoulder.

The direct impact of another vehicle can obviously injure a shoulder. Bracing yourself with outstretched arms may cause trauma. The effects of whiplash might radiate through the shoulder, damaging soft tissue and nerves. Upon impact, a seat belt can also cause stress where it overlaps the shoulder.

Symptoms of shoulder injury include swelling and redness, tenderness or tingling, bruising, weakness, pain while engaging in activity or while at rest, obvious deformity, and diminished range of motion.

You should always get a medical evaluation if you are involved in an auto accident. Soft-tissue injuries often show a knack for not being immediately apparent.

Contact our office if you or a loved one has suffered a shoulder injury as a result of a wreck.