A rotator cuff tear is a common cause for shoulder pain. It can be the result of trauma due to a fall or an object striking your shoulder. Another cause is simply wear and tear over the years producing degenerative changes in the tendon. This is seen mainly in those over 40 years of age. Using the shoulder in certain occupations in a repetitive way can cause overuse tears. Examples are those occupations involved in performing repeated lifting and overhead activities such as construction workers, carpenters, painters and tennis players.
PAIN AND LOSS OF SHOULDER STRENGTH
Regardless of the cause, the main limiting factor is loss of strength in the shoulder and pain with lifting and overhead activities. The diagnosis is confirmed by MRI studies of the shoulder.
THE ONE YEAR RULE
Social security defines disability as in inability to perform signifiicant gainful activity(work). They also state that your impairment must last at least 12 months. It is important to understand this fact since at the beginning of your impairement you may be quite disabled regarding ability to lift and raise your arm, but by 12 months you may have improved considerably with treatment and therefore be denied.
AGE AND PAST OCCUPATIONS
The decision as to whether you are allowed or denied benefits is made by doctors and disability specialists at the state disability office . They will make their decision after reviewing your entire medical record. The record of your shoulder problem will show how well you have progressed with therapy, either with or without surgery. The main issue is how well you can raise your arm and how many pounds you can lift. The decision is somewhat complicated depending on your age and past occupations.