Rotator cuff injuries frequently occur in Kentucky workplaces. They can come on suddenly, such as when an accident occurs, or they can develop slowly over time due to repetitive activity. This injury will not heal itself, usually requiring surgery to repair the area and make it fully functional once again.
What is the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff is a set of tendons in the shoulder, wrapping around the head of the humerus holding it into the socket. These tendons and accompanying muscles provide the shoulder joint security and balance and help rotate the arm at the shoulder. It’s a part of the anatomy essential to many manual and skilled labor jobs.
How rotator cuff injuries happen
Falls, which are one of the most common incidents leading to workers’ compensation claims, frequently result in rotator cuff injuries. A sudden downward jerking motion of the arm can result in a rotator cuff injury. Workers whose jobs involve heavy lifting or other tasks that put pressure on the shoulder joint can develop bone spurs around the shoulder or pinching of the rotator cuff, weakening the area and subsequently tearing the tendon.
Common symptoms include pain and difficulty or weakness in raising the arm when lifting objects, even smaller ones. Reaching behind or outward also causes significant discomfort. Many with these injuries cannot lie on the affected shoulder and wake up at night in pain.
Filing a worker’s compensation claim
Under Kentucky law, injured workers must file their claims through the state Department of Workers’ Claims. The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide those injured on the job access to medical treatment for their injury. Rotator cuff injuries may require surgery, usually performed arthroscopically, plus physical therapy afterward to help strengthen the shoulder joint and regain its mobility.
Your level of disability, whether total or partial, determines the amount of workers’ compensation benefits you will recover. Keep meticulous records regarding your symptoms and diagnosis to prove to your company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier that you suffered the injury on the job. The more thorough you are, the more likely you’ll have a successful claim.