When getting a vaccine of any kind, we count on the administrator to perform the injection properly. All vaccines must be administered precisely to ensure their safety and effectiveness. When a vaccine is injected too high or too deep in the shoulder, the patient may experience SIRVA – or “shoulder injury related to vaccine administration.” SIRVA occurs when a musculoskeletal structure of the shoulder is injured.
Intense shoulder pain after vaccination despite no previous shoulder problems
Limited range of motion
Frozen shoulder syndrome
Rotator cuff tear
If you believe that you suffered SIRVA after receiving a vaccination, seek legal guidance from The Greenwood Law Firm right away. Our Houston SIRVA attorneys have helped hundreds of people seek compensation after suffering a vaccine-related shoulder or arm injury.
SIRVA is believed to be caused by incorrect placement of a vaccine into the shoulder joint or bursa rather than the deltoid muscle tissue. When a vaccine is injected into the synovial tissue or bursa, the body may trigger an immune response which leads to severe inflammation and pain. Roughly 70% of all SIRVA cases are caused by the flu shot being incorrectly administered into the shoulder. Other known causes of SIRVA include using an improperly sized needle, injecting too high in the shoulder, too low, or too far the side.
SIRVA can be caused by any type of vaccine, such as:
There are many types of injuries that are closely connected with hypodermic vaccinations. Because SIRVA is caused by the improper administration of vaccines rather than the vaccines themselves, it is possible for patients to experience SIRVA regardless of the type of disease they are being vaccinated against.
Some of the most common types of SIRVA include:
Adhesive Capsulitis: Also known as "frozen shoulder," adhesive capsulitis is characterized by severe pain and stiffness in the shoulder after receiving a vaccine. Many cases of adhesive capsulitis can be treated with medication and physical therapy, though severe cases may require surgery.
Shoulder Bursitis: The "bursa" is a fluid-filled sack that helps to facilitate motion between tissues in the shoulder. When the bursa is damaged from a vaccine, it can become inflamed and lead to a painful condition known as shoulder bursitis. In rare cases, the bursa can become infected and lead to potentially life-threatening sepsis.
Tendonitis: Tendonitis is a condition involving the inflammation of tissues connecting the muscles and bones in the shoulder. Tendonitis can cause severe pain for a lengthy period of time, requiring rest, medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections to be treated.
Brachial Neuritis: Brachial neuritis is a condition characterized by sudden-onset shoulder pain and inflammation, followed by a weak or numb sensation. Brachial neuritis can extend throughout the arm and require similar treatments as adhesive capsulitis.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has seen a steady rise in the number of shoulder injury cases in the United States since its inception in 1987, with an average of 500 annual cases being reported in recent years. This number is expected to rise as more and more adults choose to receive flu vaccinations each year.
According to historical data about SIRVA injuries from the VICP, roughly 3.4 billion doses of covered vaccines were distributed in the US from 2006 to 2017. Of petitions related to SIRVA and other vaccine-related injuries that were filed in this time period, 6,552 were adjudicated by the court, and 4,509 were compensated. This means that roughly one individual was compensated for every million doses of vaccines distributed. The VICP paid roughly $4.2 billion in compensation to individuals who developed SIRVA and other vaccine-related injuries from 1988 to 2017.
There is currently no known cure for SIRVA, however, there are several treatment options that can help relieve shoulder pain. SIRVA is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers, though physical therapy may sometimes be required to regain a full range of motion in the affected arm. Corticosteroid injections may also be an option to minimize swelling. In rare cases where no other treatment is effective, surgery may be required to repair damaged shoulder ligaments and tissues.
While shoulder pain following an injection is common and typically subsides within a few days, pain related to SIRVA can last for months and become a chronic issue if left untreated. SIRVA can sometimes require several weeks or even months of effective treatment for a full recovery. To minimize your chances of long-term damage, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing shoulder pain for more than a week after receiving an injection.
Filing a SIRVA claim can be a complex process. You will want a Houston vaccine injury attorney by your side to protect your rights and to fight on your behalf. Our firm understands how to approach a SIRVA case with the greatest chance of obtaining favorable results. The sooner you seek legal representation, the better your chances of recovering compensation.
Physical therapy and ongoing treatment
Pain and suffering
The Greenwood Law Firm has filed hundreds of claims through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program on behalf of clients around the U.S. If you suffered a shoulder or arm injury after receiving a vaccine, we want to help you with your claim.
Give us a call to get started.