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What are frozen joints? What do I need to know if my loved one suffers from frozen joints in a nursing home?

Immobility can cause frozen joints in a nursing home patient, an avoidable injuryFrozen joint syndrome, also known as adhesive capsulitis, typically occurs after a long period of immobilization. The capsule surrounding the joint can become inflamed and the muscle or tendon attached to the joint can restrict. This makes it painful or impossible to move the joint, and the joint is described as being frozen. Frozen joints are often seen in the shoulders, hips, or knees, but they can occur elsewhere in the body as well.

Eight Questions to Ask If Your Loved One Has a Frozen Joint in a Nursing Home

Your loved one didn’t enter the nursing home with a frozen joint. Accordingly, it is important to find out why she suffered this injury and whether she is now getting the appropriate treatment. To that end, you can ask:

  • Who is my loved one’s treating physician and what treatment is being recommended?
  • Who is in charge of making sure that my loved one gets the treatment that her doctor ordered?
  • What follow-up care does my loved one need?
  • Did nursing home staff know the risk factors for frozen joints and watch for symptoms of the condition?
  • Did nursing home staff notice any symptoms of frozen joints? What did they do if they did notice the symptoms?
  • How often was my loved one’s position changed or how often was she moved?
  • How often did was my loved one checked on?
  • Did my loved one mention any physical concerns to any staff member? Were there any symptoms of neglect that should have been noticed by staff?

Some frozen joint injuries are the result of nursing home neglect. If you believe that your loved one suffered an injury then it is important to know what you can do to help your loved one recover. The answers to the questions above can help guide your next steps, and so too can a conversation with a nursing home neglect attorney. If you would like to schedule a free meeting to discuss your rights, please start a live chat with us now.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham