Shoulder Injury After Semi-Truck Accident

Every year thousands of people become a victim to brutal automobile crashes, particularly 18 wheeler accidents which, due to their large dimensions and massive weight, are accountable for much more destruction and injury than smaller automobiles. From the mistake of a driver under the influence of alcohol to pure recklessness and disregard for traffic laws, the list of causes that result in these heinous accidents goes on. Last year over 500,000 people were involved in large truck accidents that claimed more than 5,000 human lives. Not only this, but of those who survive, a significant majority faces the after math of grave injuries.

Amongst the wide range of injuries that occur as a consequence of these semi-truck crashes, those suffered in the shoulder region are undoubtedly one the most common ones. The shoulder joint comprises three bones, the scapula, clavicle (collar bone) and the humerus bone of the arm. The joints are surrounded by a group of four muscles collectively known at the “rotator cuff”. To stabilize the joint at its anatomic location and provide steady movement, it is supported by an intricate arrangement of ligaments and muscles with their tendons. Thus, the complexity of this joint warrants its susceptibility to injuries.


If you have been in a semi-truck accident recently, your shoulder is at risk of the following types of injuries, their number being much higher than regions of the body:

  1. Broken clavicle: this gives rise to a condition known as the “floating shoulder”. It can result from direct car accident trauma or from falling on your arm outstretched, usually seen in bicycle riders. The shoulder dislodges from its normal position and seems to float around seeming disconnected from the rest of the skeleton.
  2. Dislocated shoulder: after a severe push or pull the humerus may get pulled out of its socket, leading to a dislocated shoulder.
  3. Rotator cuff tear: the four muscles in the region along with their tendons may get torn out due to severe trauma.
  4. Shoulder separation: it involves separation of the collar bone from the scapula either from a fracture of bone or ligament damage.
  5. Shoulder bursitis: a bursa is a bag like structure filled with fluid; it is located usually where muscles and tendons slide over the bones. It provides smooth, slippery gliding movements of muscles without any friction. It may get inflamed due to trauma causing bursitis.
  6. Shoulder tendonitis: this is a result of inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles. This type is also seen in due to chronic over use or aging.
  7. Shoulder sprain: the ligaments, which are tough bands of fibrous tissue supporting the bones, maybe stretched and inflamed after injury.
  8. Frozen shoulder: after trauma, the capsule of the shoulder joint may get scarred, thickened or shrunk. This is medically referred to as “adhesive capsulitis”.



If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you need to get checked by a physician for the shoulder injuries mentioned above:

  • Stiffness of lack of mobility in your shoulder.
  • Pain that may be constant, moderate to severe and associated with movement.
  • Swelling around your shoulder area.
  • Discomfort while sleeping.
  • Weakening of movement of the arm.
  • Locking of the shoulder.
  • An unstable shoulder.
  • Bruising or laceration on the overlying skin.
  • Numbness and tingling in the arm or hand.



  • A simple dislocation may either return to the socket on its own or may have to be forced back by a physician.
  • If there is an open wound over the shoulder it needs to be attended to immediately. Cleaning the wound, stitching of skin, bandaging and a  tetanus shot is essential.
  • For pain and swelling, cold compresses and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are given. For more severe pain, stronger analgesics such as narcotics are prescribed.
  • Giving rest to the shoulder by avoiding activities, or with the help of a sling or shoulder immobilizer.
  • Physiotherapy, to preserve the mobility and strength, and prevent occurrence of a frozen shoulder.
  • For serious injuries such as fracture, tendon or ligament tear, severe dislocation, surgery is opted.

It is critical to vigilantly observe any developing signs and symptoms. Shoulder ailments are extremely common and many are a result of carelessness and lack of treatment on time after injury or trauma, as there is a limited time line within which the shoulder can be saved from permanent damage. So tend to your complaints on time and maintain the quality of your life.

If you have been injured in a semi-truck crash or other auto accident and have suffered a shoulder injury, you are entitled to reimbursement for all of your harms and losses. Contact a Missouri semi-truck accident lawyer Christopher R. Dixon for a free consultation today.  Call 314.409.7060 or toll-free at 855-402-7274.

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