Rotator cuff injuries occur from lifting, falling or repetitive use injuries. The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder that connect your upper arm bone to your shoulder blade. Together these combine for the joint in your body with the largest range of motion and one that we rely upon every day.
In 2007, South Carolina Workers' Compensation law began to recognize the shoulder as a scheduled member or body part under the Workers' Comp Act. The shoulder, if you had a total loss, is worth up to 300 weeks of compensation according to Section 42-9-30.
Rotator Cuff Surgery Affects More than the Shoulder
If surgery is required for a work related rotator cuff tear or an on the job shoulder injury then the injury can go beyond just an injury to the shoulder. Typically once an injured employee has reached maxmimum medical improvement (MMI) the doctor will assign an impairment rating. This will most likely be to the shoulder. However, during a rotatory cuff surgery it is very common for the orthopedic surgeon to shave down the acromioplasty or AC Joint or the distal clavicle or the scapula or all of the above.
Accroding to South Carolina Workers' Compensation law the clavicle and the scapula or body parts recognized for which compensation may be provided. In addition, to the shoulder rating an injured employee with a shoulder injury could receive compensaton for the scaupula (anywhere from 10-100 weeks of compensation) and compensation for the scapula (anywhere from 10-200) weeks of compensation. Simply agreeing that a rotator cuff injury is an injury to the shoulder and nothing else, could leave medical and financial compensation on the table.
If you or someone you know has a rotator cuff injury, it is important to determine whether or not the scapula and clavicle have been injured or affected as well. For more information concering a workers compensation shoulder injury, contact Black, Black & Montgomery, LLC today at (800) 681-1931.