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Shoulder Bursitis Injury from the Flu Shot

Do you have serious arm or shoulder pain following a vaccine? Flu shots, tetanus shots, MMR vaccines, and others can cause shoulder bursitis and various shoulder injuries. Vaccines are frequently injected into the deltoid muscle, which is the shoulder cap. If the injection is administered too high on the shoulder, the vaccine can penetrate a sensitive area called the bursa sac. If you suffered bursitis caused by a flu shot or other vaccine, you can seek compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Our vaccine injury lawyers have handled hundreds of vaccine injury claims resulting in shoulder bursitis. Our legal fees are paid from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program trust fund, not by our clients.


Vaccine Injury Lawyer Paul Brazil on NBC4 News

My Vaccine Lawyer's founding partner Paul Brazil was featured in an interview with Jodie Fleischer of NBC4 Washington about shoulder injuries from vaccines. These vaccine injuries are referred to as SIRVA, and side effects can vary among pain levels and side effects.


Shoulder INjury from a vaccine? TEXT ‘VACCINE’ TO 833-670-7851 now!


What is bursitis?
The bursa is a fluid-filled compartment that essentially acts as a lubricant – it allows the muscles, tendons, and bones of the shoulder joint to move smoothly. When a vaccine penetrates the bursa, it can cause an inflammatory response. The inflammation can present in the bursa (Bursitis), tendons (Tendonitis) or around the Rotator Cuff. The aforementioned inflammation causes severe pain and often a reduced range of motion.


What Causes Bursitis in the shoulder?

The most common causes of bursitis are injury or overuse, but there are many other things that can cause bursitis, including injury or trauma to the affected area, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection.

Vaccines can also cause shoulder bursitis and other shoulder injuries. Although rare, there are a few different ways a vaccination, such as a flu shot, can cause bursitis in the shoulder. Medical literature lists the following potential causes:

  • over-penetration/poor injection technique;
  • inappropriate needle length;
  • the patient's physical characteristics;
  • a robust local immune-mediated inflammatory reaction if vaccine antigen is injected into synovial tissues under the deltoid muscle.


How to tell if you have Bursitis in your shoulder

If any of these symptoms arise after a vaccination, it is very possible that the vaccine recipient has bursitis caused by the vaccine administration:

  • pain when moving the arm, especially moving the arm out to the side or behind;
  • tenderness of the front and upper parts of the shoulder;
  • burning pain.

How Bursitis can be diagnosed

In some cases, the shoulder pain will resolve on its own within a few weeks. If it does not, then the pain is likely being caused by a significant injury such as bursitis. A person suffering from a shoulder injury following vaccination should see a primary care physician as soon as possible. Primary care physicians will likely refer the patient to an orthopedist who specializes in these injuries. In order to diagnose the injury, the orthopedist will often prescribe an MRI of the injured shoulder. MRIs are the most useful diagnostic test when it comes to diagnosing shoulder injuries.

The MRI may show inflammation, fluid collection, swelling, or even tears. After the orthopedist reviews the MRI, they can offer a diagnosis that usually includes one or all of the following: Bursitis, Tendonitis, Frozen Shoulder, and Rotator Cuff Injury.


What is the ICD-10 Code for Shoulder Bursitis?

M75.52 is a billable code used to specify a medical diagnosis of bursitis in the shoulder. The ICD-10-CM code M75.52 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like bilateral bursitis of shoulders, bilateral scapulothoracic bursitis of shoulders, bilateral shoulder bursa disorder, bilateral subacromial bursitis of shoulders, bursa disorder of left shoulder region, and bursa disorder of left shoulder region among others. The code is commonly used in orthopedic medical specialties to specify clinical concepts such as the above shoulder conditions.


How long is the recovery time for shoulder bursitis?

In mild cases, those injured will recover fully after a course of physical therapy. Physical therapy will usually be prescribed two to three (2-3) times per week for a course of around three (3) months. If physical therapy is not beneficial, the orthopedic doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections. These steroid injections can relieve inflammation and help the patient regain some of their strength and mobility. In some cases, the injections will completely remedy the problem. In others, the relief may be temporary.

In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. The damage could be substantial enough to require removal of the bursa or repair of the tendons.


compensation for Bursitis after a vaccination

If you or a loved one has suffered bursitis from a vaccine injury, you may be entitled to compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. For more information, please contact us for a free consultation. Our vaccine injury lawyers welcome the opportunity to speak with you.


Page last reviewed and updated: December 2, 2020

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