Medical image of rotator cuff injury

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Explains Work-Related Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff comprises essential muscles and tendons encasing the shoulder joint, which is crucial for stability and enabling diverse arm movements. It plays a pivotal role in various everyday activities, including lifting, reaching, and throwing. Unfortunately, the repetitive nature of certain job tasks, combined with heavy lifting and awkward arm movements, can lead to strain or tear injuries in the rotator cuff.

If you have a work-related rotator cuff injury, you could qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to cover the costs of medical treatment and part of your lost wages. At the Monast Law Office, we understand the complexities of Ohio workers’ compensation and the impact a work-related injury—such as a strained or torn rotator cuff—has on your life. We strive to secure the compensation you deserve.

Rotator Cuff Strains and Tears

Rotator cuff injuries encompass a range of conditions ranging from mild strains to complete tears. A rotator cuff strain occurs when the muscles or tendons are overstretched or partially torn, resulting in pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion. A tear is defined as a rupture of one or more tendons in the rotator cuff, leading to significant pain, weakness, and instability in the shoulder joint. 

Common types of rotator cuff injuries include:

  • Partial or incomplete tear
  • Complete tear
  • Acute tear
  • Degenerative tear

Treatment for rotator cuff injuries varies depending on the specific type and severity. Recommendations may include rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, or, in severe cases, surgery to repair the damaged tendon or remove calcium deposits. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for optimizing outcomes and preventing long-term complications.

Jobs at Risk for Rotator Cuff Injuries

According to the Cleveland Clinic, rotator cuff problems are common, with over two million Americans experiencing one each year. There are several occupations and work tasks with a higher risk of developing shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff strains or tears. These include:

  • Construction workers. Heavy lifting, repetitive overhead movements, and working with power tools often strain rotator cuff muscles and tendons.
  • Warehouse personnel. Tasks involving frequent lifting, carrying, and overhead reaching increase the likelihood of rotator cuff injuries.
  • Painters. Continuous reaching and overhead work compromises the integrity of the rotator cuff, predisposing painters to tendonitis and tears.
  • Athletes. Sports such as baseball, tennis, and swimming involve repetitive arm motions that injure athletes.
  • Office workers. Sitting for prolonged periods and having poor posture can contribute to muscle imbalances and rotator cuff strain, especially among office workers who spend long hours typing or using a computer mouse.

How the Monast Law Office Helps Prove Work-Related Rotator Cuff Injuries

It’s sometimes difficult to determine whether a rotator cuff injury is work-related—and employers all too often want to challenge workers' compensation claims. 

Gathering evidence supporting the connection between the injury and work activities is important. Evidence to use to support your claim may include:

  • Medical records. Detailed medical reports documenting the onset and progression of the injury, along with diagnostic tests such as MRI scans, can provide objective evidence.
  • Witness statements. Testimony from coworkers or supervisors who saw the incident or observed the repetitive nature of the tasks might also bolster the claim.
  • Work history. Showing a correlation between job duties and the development of symptoms strengthens the argument for the injury being work-related.
  • Expert opinion. Consulting with medical professionals specializing in orthopedics or occupational medicine provides valuable insights into the causative factors of the injury.

Disputing Claim Due to a Pre-Existing Condition

If you have a pre-existing condition, this can add an extra layer of complexity to an already challenging situation. Employers may argue that the rotator cuff injury isn’t work-related but a result of a pre-existing condition, such as degenerative changes or earlier damage. However, understand that even if a pre-existing condition exists, aggravation or exacerbation of that condition due to work-related activities can still make the injury compensable under Ohio’s workers' compensation laws.

By retaining the services of our experienced team at Monast Law Office, you can maximize your chances of successfully obtaining the compensation and benefits you deserve. 




James Monast
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Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio
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