Rotator Cuff Injury: who shoulders the burden?

There are many types of personal injury that you can claim for. But, as with anything in life, it quickly becomes clear that some scenarios are more common than others. One such example is the very painful and often debilitating rotator cuff injury.

Rotator cuff injury may sound complicated but in layman’s terms the injury is relatively easy to explain. There’s an area of the shoulder containing four important muscles. And when all these muscles or the tendons connected to them is damaged the victim suffers severe pain which can seriously impact on the movement of their arm and shoulder.

Debilitating pain

This pain can cause significant discomfort on a day-to-day level and in many cases prevents the victim from working, pursuing hobbies or performing simple everyday tasks. Where it can be proved that the injury was caused by an accident the wasn’t your fault or – more commonly – by a workplace injury due to another’s negligence, then there may be a good chance of pursuing a successful personal injury claim and getting compensation.

Of course, as with all personal injury claims, each case is considered on its own merit. But for now, let’s take a look at the types of rotator cuff injury that can occur.

Torn and troubled

Rotator Cuff tear is when either the muscles or tendons in the rotator cuff are completely or partially torn. It can be caused by an awkward fall, major trauma or wear and tear (including a condition known as Impingement Syndrome). In fact, this injury is common to people who work in jobs that require them to use the same shoulder movement over and over again – such as painter and decorators, mechanics and window cleaners.

Trapped and tender

The other major cause of rotator cuff injury is inflammation of the tendons in that area. This leads to them being very tender and eventually trapped and pinched by the shoulder joint. This, in turn, can lead to Impingement Syndrome and rotator cuff tear (see above).

Main causes of rotator cuff injury

Those most susceptible to rotator cuff injury are older people (from mid 40s onwards) who have suffered wear and tear above and beyond the norm. People working in jobs where this area of body is subjected to repetitive strain are most at risk. Causes include:

  • Lifting an object that’s too heavy or incorrect lifting
  • Falling on the shoulder directly or using an arm to break your fall
  • Pulling an object that’s too heavy or incorrect pulling

In all of the above examples, if you believe that the injury came about because you were not properly protected by your employer or there was a failure to adhere to health and safety regulations or you were put at risk unnecessarily, you may have a valid claim.

We have to point out though that this kind of injury requires medical attention and your first step should be to see a doctor or specialist. Then you may wish to seek out a reliable personal injury solicitor who can advise you as to whether you have a good claim or not.