If you work in the construction industry, you reach your hands over your head hundreds of times per day. Even though you normally do not think twice about this movement, a rotator cuff injury can make it virtually impossible to do. Indeed according to the Mayo Clinic, your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons in your shoulder that facilitates movement.
There are two ways to tear your rotator cuff: traumatic injury and degeneration. As a construction worker, you are probably vulnerable to both. Regrettably, your tear is likely to require surgery. Even worse, you may be in for some serious complications from your injury.
Infection is of the more common complications from any surgically repaired injury. Specifically, if germs work their way into your surgical site, you might develop an infection. While antibiotics usually clear up infections quickly, an untreated or antibiotic-resistant infection may lead to potentially life-threatening sepsis or septic shock.
It is not uncommon for individuals who have rotator cuff tears to experience stiffness and other mobility issues after surgery. To minimize these, your doctor is likely to recommend physical rehabilitation. Still, your range of motion may never return to its pre-injury state.
Rotator cuff injuries are often excruciatingly painful. During your recovery, you may move differently to help alleviate your pain. Doing so, though, increases your odds of reinjuring your shoulder or injuring another part of your body.
Ultimately, because it can be exceedingly difficult to continue to work in construction after tearing a rotator cuff, you may need workers’ compensation benefits to help you plan for the next chapter of your life.