Upper Body Injuries
If you have been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault and have suffered injuries to your upper body as a result; then Smith Jones Solicitors are here to help you make it right. From rehabilitation and care through to helping you obtain compensation for your injuries – you are in the best possible hands when you choose us to represent you. (Read more about personal injury claims)
Injuries to your upper body can occur as a result of a variety of different accidents and can range from relatively minor injuries to the most severe injuries, of which are often life-changing for the victim. Smith Jones has advised injured people in relation to many upper body injuries, including:
- Back & neck Injuries
- Arm & shoulder injuries
- Eye injuries
- Hand & finger Injuries
Upper body injuries can occur in a variety of incidents, the most common of which include accidents at work, slip and trip falls, car or bicycle accidents, and sports injuries. Recovery from such injuries can take between a couple of weeks to a few months; with the most severe injuries lasting for many years. If you have suffered an injury to your upper body after an accident that wasn’t your fault, then the team at Smith Jones can help you with everything from rehabilitation through to claiming the compensation that you deserve
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Upper Body Injury Types – More Information
INJURIES TO THE BACK & NECK
Certain accidents can result in various injuries to your back and neck. These range from mild to very severe, or even fatal.
Vertebral fractures are a common injury to the neck following an accident. They can be caused either by a work accident or where something made your neck moves abruptly (most commonly seen in road traffic accidents). However, it could be caused by any type of accident. If you have suffered a vertebrae fracture, we would recommend that you seek out professional legal help immediately as they are often extremely serious and can have life-changing implications.
Pulls, Sprains, and Strains. It is often the case that back injuries occur when you don’t expect them, while you are just carrying out your everyday tasks at work or moving working on a building site. Pulls, sprains, and strains occur as a result of muscle being torn or over-stretched, often leading to acute back pain and difficulties standing or moving.
Lumbar Spine Trauma. Lower back pain, or lumbar spine trauma, is one of the most common causes (although not the only one) for pain in your lower back. As well as feeling very uncomfortable it can also be incredibly painful.
There are four main types of lumbar spine injuries, and these are:
- Fractures – bone cracks or breaks
- Hernias – spinal disc movement or damage
- Sprains – supporting ligaments tear or damage
- Strains – damage to the muscles
Injuries to the Spine. Some injuries cause damage to the spinal cord, which can lead to life-long discomfort, phantom pains or nerve injuries. As you may know, your spinal cord is a collection of important nerve fibres that travel along your spine and connect your brain to virtually every part of your body. Therefore, damage to the tissue can result in various serious conditions and symptoms such as incontinence, loss of sensation, and even paralysis.
Injuries to the Brachial Plexus. The Brachial Plexus is a series of spinal nerves that are located between your shoulder blades. If these are damaged, you can suffer from an injury known as Brachial Neuritis, or Parsonage-Turner Syndrome. This nerve damage can result in tingling or numbness, along with hand and arm pains.
ARM & SHOULDER INJURIES
Arm and shoulder injuries can have devastating effects. Although there are various kinds of injuries to the shoulders, they generally fall into three categories:
- Breaks & Fractures
- Tears & Dislocations
- Muscle or Tissue Damage
Fractures. Proximal Humerus or Clavicle fractures often occur as a result of a direct blow to the area after a car accident, collision or fall. In the case of Clavicle fractures, there will be notable swelling around the centre of the collarbone. Both types of fractures do not require surgery for treatment, as long as the bone is not severely displaced or the fracture has not pierced through the skin. Surgery is only necessary if the fractured bone fragments and needs to be fixed using pins, screws or plates.
Dislocations. The AC, or Acromioclavicular joint, is where the highest point of the shoulder blade meets the collarbone. The most common cause of dislocation of this joint is by falling directly onto the shoulder. If the fall is serious enough, it can tear the ligaments, causing the wing-bone and collarbone to separate. The effects of this can vary depending on the severity of the condition, from light ligament spraining to tearing and even complete dislocation. There are options available for both surgical and non-surgical treatments for a shoulder dislocation.
Soft-Tissue Injuries. Soft-Tissue Injuries involve the tearing of the joint capsule, muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the shoulder. Both SLAP (Superior Labral Anterior to Posterior) and rotator cuff tears are common conditions after accidents.
Tears to the rotator cuff happen when the largest tendon around the upper part of the arm tears as a result of chronic wear and tear or from a slip and fall. If you have suffered a rotator cuff tear, you will normally feel pain in the front of your shoulder down the arm.
Tears to the SLAP occur when the shoulder labrum, the cartilage ring surrounding the joint socket, is torn. Repetitive shoulder motions or acute trauma are often the causes of this type of injury.
We understand how painful and distressing eye injuries can be. There are numerous eye injuries you could experience as the result of an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Scratches. Abrasions to the surface of your eyes, from pokes or rubbing, when a foreign object is present like sand or dust. They can cause severe discomfort, light sensitivity, and redness. Scratches can also increase your susceptibility to fungal or bacterial infections, which can cause serious problems in themselves.
Foreign Objects In/Penetrating the Eye. Foreign objects such as fish hooks or pieces of metal could penetrate the eye. If you try to remove it yourself, you could cause more injury, so it is best to seek medical help immediately. As metal foreign bodies can cause significant scarring and the development of a rust ring around the affected area, it is imperative that they are removed as soon as possible.
Chemical Burns. When harmful substances are sprayed or splashed in your eyes, it can be nothing short of horrific. The severity largely depends on the substance involved. Acids cause burning and redness that can be fairly easy to wash out. While Alkalis may not seem as dangerous because the symptoms are subtler, to begin with, they can still cause severe problems over time.
Swelling. Swollen and puffy eyes are often caused by something striking the eyes at high speed. Although unattractive, eye swelling can be treated quite easily with an ice pack.
Bleeding. Sub-conjunctival hemorrhages look worse than they are. They occur when blood leaks from a broken blood vessel that lies in the middle of the clear covering of the eye (conjunctiva) and the white (sclera). As well as being painless it does not cause any temporary or lasting blindness or vision impairment.
Traumatic Iritis. This is inflammation of the eye’s coloured part and is often caused by a blow to the eye from a blunt object or even a rough poke. While it can be treated, even after medical assistance, there is still a chance of life-long vision impairment.
Hyphemia and Orbital Blowout Fractures. While hyphemia is bleeding inside the eye’s anterior chamber, between the iris and cornea, orbital blowout fractures are breakages and cracks in the facial bones around the eye. Both of these are considered very serious and require emergency treatment. They are often caused by blunt force trauma to the face.
HAND & FINGER INJURIES
Some of the most typical hand and finger injuries include:
- Repetitive Strain Injury
- Vibration White Finger
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Repetitive Strain Injury. Also known as RSI, this is when repetitive movements cause nerve tendon and muscle damage. In an office environment, RSI is usually caused by sitting or typing for long periods of time in an uncomfortable position.
Vibration White Finger. This most commonly affects people who work with vibrating machinery in their workplace. If you have not been warned sufficiently about this condition and spent a lot of time working machinery, you could make a claim against your employer for negligence. The effects of this condition can be long lasting, and you could be left managing the Vibration White Finger for the rest of your life.
Carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a condition that is caused by compression of the nerves in your wrist. Common symptoms of this condition include ‘pins and needles’, weakness and numbness, many of which can worsen over the course of time. As well as causing you continued discomfort, it can hinder your ability to rest and sleep.
Whiplash is an injury that affects your neck’s soft tissue. If your head moves abruptly and unexpectedly, it can strain the soft tissue, which can lead to whiplash. Whiplash is an injury most commonly associated with car and other road vehicle accidents, although it can happen in other types of accidents.
The thing you need to be aware of when it comes to whiplash is that it doesn’t always manifest itself immediately. After an accident, you may appear to be fine and uninjured, only beginning to suffer pains and strains afterwards.