Injuries to the shoulder joint can be very debilitating to workers who have to use their arms for lifting or repetitive activities. These injuries can be caused either by a sudden and unnatural force on the shoulder joint or often through repetitive overhead activities slowly wearing down the structure of the shoulder joint.
The most common injuries to the shoulder are tears of the several tendons which comprise the rotator cuff, the labrum, the acromioclavicular joint, and the biceps. Treatment for shoulder injuries can include physical therapy, injection therapy to relieve pain, and surgery to repair damaged tendons, create space, or remove damaged bone. One of the risks of shoulder surgery or shoulder immobility following an injury is that of “frozen shoulder”, where movement of the joint becomes restricted and painful. If a shoulder injury results in a permanent impairment of function, it is classified as “unscheduled” for purposes of Arizona Workers Compensation law.