Which Workers’ Compensation Medical Treatments are Available for Shoulder Injuries in North Carolina?

December 22 , 2023

At the Ramsay Law Firm, P.A., our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys know that the shoulders are integral to the body’s movements — inside and outside the workplace. Outside work, they help us drive, lift groceries, attend to personal care, and hug our family members. Inside work, from office-based tasks to physically demanding labor, they help us perform the primary and involved duties that allow us to do our jobs effectively.

When someone suffers a shoulder injury at work — in a single accident like a slip and fall or as part of a repetitive stress injury from heavy lifting — it can result in dislocations, fractures, rotator cuff tears, bursitis, or impingement that require specific medical treatments depending on the nature and severity of the injury.

Here, we discuss what types of medical treatments are available for shoulder injuries and why following your physician’s treatment plan is essential.

Workplace Shoulder Injuries in NC

North Carolina Workplace Shoulder Injuries and Their Medical Treatment Options

The first step is often a thorough medical evaluation to diagnose the specific shoulder injury.

This may include physical examinations, imaging studies like X-rays or MRI scans, and other diagnostic tests to diagnose:

  • Biceps tenosynovitis/tendinopathy.
  • Change to acromioclavicular joint.
  • Full thickness tear rotator cuff supraspinatus tendon.
  • Impingement syndrome.
  • Superior migration of humeral head.
  • Tear of subscapularis.
  • Torn labrum or fraying of labrum.

Next, the physician may:

  • Prescribe pain management treatments, which can include medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other prescriptions to reduce inflammation and manage pain associated with shoulder injuries. In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce inflammation and relieve pain in the shoulder joint.
  • Impose immobilization care that stabilizes shoulder movement during treatment.
  • Order physical therapy, a common treatment component for shoulder injuries. It involves exercises and rehabilitation activities to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the shoulder. In addition, occupational therapy may be recommended to help individuals with shoulder injuries regain the ability to perform daily tasks and job-related functions.
  • Refer the worker to an orthopedic specialist for further evaluation and consideration of surgical interventions. Severe shoulder injuries may require surgical intervention, which may include:
    • Arthroscopic biceps tenodesis and biceps anchor.
    • Arthroscopic repair or open surgery for internal fixation with plates and screws.
    • Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
    • Debridement and repair of supraspinatus tendon.
    • Debridement of labium.
    • Shoulder arthroscopic repair and capsular release.
    • Shoulder joint replacement.
    • Subacromial decompression, distal clavicle resection, biceps tenotomy.
  • Require post-surgery rehabilitation services, which is essential to aid in the recovery process. This may include additional physical therapy and follow-up care.

It is crucial for anyone who has suffered a shoulder injury at work to follow their physician’s treatment plan, including at-home care requirements that can aid in their recovery.

If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim because of a North Carolina workplace injury and have received a dispute from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider, contact us right away for help/

Our dedicated Mecklenburg County workers’ compensation law firm provides free consultations to all employees who have suffered a workplace injury in North Carolina by calling (704)-376-1616 or contacting us online.

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