Last Updated: 11/30/2023
Following a car accident that caused a shoulder injury, a victim may have to undergo shoulder replacement surgery. This is an intensive surgery that is expensive, very painful, and may require months of rehabilitative treatment and physical therapy.
If you were in a car accident in Iowa and required shoulder replacement surgery due to injuries sustained in the accident, you have options to recover damages related to the injury.
The Basics of Shoulder Replacement Surgery
A shoulder replacement surgery is a surgery performed when the shoulder joint or bones suffer damage beyond repair. A surgeon may perform the procedure to treat injuries caused by trauma to the shoulder, such as a severe shoulder fracture.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, during a shoulder replacement surgery, the surgeon removes damaged parts of the shoulder and replaces them with artificial parts, usually made from metal or plastic. Depending upon the severity of the injury, the surgery may replace the head of the humerus bone, the socket of the bone, or both.
Injuries That Require Shoulder Replacement Surgery
A car accident victim may sustain a shoulder fracture that is so severe that a doctor cannot correct the upper-arm bones without joint replacement surgery. However, this is not the only injury necessitating a shoulder replacement.
A victim of car accident may sustain trauma to the shoulder that does not require immediate surgery, but that does pose complications later in life, such as post-traumatic arthritis.
Post-traumatic arthritis can be extremely painful and is a common reason a patient needs to undergo this surgery. A torn rotator cuff may develop tear arthropathy – this is where shoulder joint damage from the torn rotator cuff leads to arthritis and joint cartilage damage.
Recovery Time for Shoulder Replacement Surgery
The type of surgery (total or partial replacement) affects recovery time. So does the patient’s own resiliency. For the majority of patients, the shoulder will need to remain in a sling for a few weeks post-surgery. Basic activities, such as brushing hair, driving, eating, and dressing can resume once a doctor recommends removing the sling.
But the patient should not place the arm in any extreme or unnatural positions and should not bear unusual amounts of weight for several weeks following surgery. Months of physical therapy may be necessary for the shoulder to recover full mobility.
Get the Help of a Personal Injury Attorney at Walker, Billingsley & Bair
Shoulder replacement surgery is expensive, especially for someone who doesn’t have health insurance. What’s more, a person who gets shoulder replacement surgery will most likely have to miss work, resulting in lost wages. To help ensure you recover fair compensation for both the cost of your surgery and your lost wages, as well as your pain and suffering, seek help from an attorney.
At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, our personal injury attorneys will fight to make sure you get the money you deserve. If you have legal questions about which recovery route is best for you, call us today for a no cost consultation. You can reach our offices now at (641) 792-3595 or via our contact form.