Each year hundreds of Iowans sustain work related shoulder injuries. Some make a good recovery while others develop what is called frozen shoulder syndrome. It is a condition where basically an injured worker loses range of motion in his/her shoulder. Sometimes it is caused by your arm being placed into a sling and other times it is due to the shoulder injury itself. Regardless, it can be a devastating injury for which there is limited treatment available. First, physical therapy will usually be recommended, which almost always involves you doing home exercises as well. Another treatment option the doctors may try is a called a manipulation under anesthesia where the doctor physically stretches and moves your shoulder while you are unconscious. The pain after such a procedure can be severe.
What Can I Expect if I Have Frozen Shoulder?
Regardless of the treatment, if you or a loved one ends up with a frozen shoulder after a work injury that does not get better wiht treatment, you are probably entitled to some permanent workers' compensation benefits. The doctor will likely evaluate you for what is called an impairment rating which is a number from a book called the AMA Guides. The number will be based upon your lack of range of motion in your injured arm and shoulder. Keep in mind that your impairment rating is usually only one of many factors that determine what is called your industrial disability. For example, the doctor may give you a 10% body as a whole impairment rating, but given the other factors in your case like your restrictions, education, age, ability to work, etc., your case could be worth much more. If it is determined by a judge or through a settlement that you have 40% industrial disability, then you would be owed 200 weeks of permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits (500 weeks X 40% = 200).
What Should I Do If I Have Frozen Shoulder From a Work Injury?
If you have questions about a frozen shoulder work injury in Iowa, you should contact a qualified Iowa workers' compensation attorney. We offer no cost workers' compensation case evaluations and also offer a book we have written and a DVD we have recorded which explains the Iowa Injured Workers' Bill of Rights and much more all at no cost to you, the injured worker. The book is called “Iowa Workers’ Compensation - An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries” which includes 7 Costly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work. To order your copy, click here or CALL 1-800-707-2552 (ext 811) (24 hour recorded message). For immediate assistance or to schedule your no risk case evalutation, CALL NOW 515-440-2852 and ask for Corey or Erik.