Shoulder Bursitis &
Flu Vaccine Injuries

Bursitis from flu shot and other vaccines.

Shoulder bursitis can happen when a vaccine is administered too high or deep, going through the muscle and into the bursa. This is injury is called SIRVA.

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Shoulder bursitis vaccine 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 other SIRVA related 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.

 

What is shoulder bursitis?

The bursa is a fluid-filled compartment that essentially acts as a lubricant – it allows the muscles, rotator cuff 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 shoulder bursitis?

A common shoulder problem among tennis players and factory workers, the painful condition can also happen following a vaccine administration. Other causes of bursitis are injury and trauma to the affected area such as inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection. Many vaccines can also cause shoulder bursitis and other shoulder injuries known as SIRVA. Although rare, there are a few different ways a vaccination, such as a flu shot, can cause an inflamed bursa 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.

Recently, My Vaccine Lawyer's founding partner Paul Brazil was interviewed by Jodie Fleischer of NBC4 Washington about SIRVA injuries from vaccines, including shoulder bursitis and shoulder impingement syndrome, along with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a federal compensation program for vaccine injuries in the United States. Paul and Jodie also discuss the frequency of vaccine injuries and the lack of public knowledge about the VICP.

NBC4 Washington - Paul Brazil of My Vaccine Lawyer on Federal Vaccine Program

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How to tell if you have shoulder bursitis

If any of these symptoms arise after a vaccination, it is very possible that the initial injury is 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 muscle;
  • Burning pain.

How is shoulder bursitis 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 for an accurate diagnosis. 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, tears, impingement syndrome, or rotator cuff tendinitis. After an orthopedic surgeon reviews the MRI, they can offer a diagnosis that usually includes one or all of the following: Bursitis, Tendonitis, Frozen Shoulder, Ulnar Neuropathy and or a 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, a subacromial 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 or an anti-inflammatory medication. 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 with help of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary for injuries such as shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tendonitis or traumatic bursitis. The damage could be substantial enough to require removal of the subdeltoid bursa or repair of the tendons through surgical intervention.

 

Why you should report a shoulder bursitis vaccine injury

You should first report your shoulder vaccine injury to your doctor to receive proper treatment as soon as possible. Because a shoulder bursitis vaccine injury classifies as SIRVA, those who have been injured may also report their injury to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System which is a national vaccine safety surveillance program. It is crucial to then contact a vaccine injury lawyer to protect your rights in the case of a vaccine injury when filing in the VICP.

 

Compensation for a shoulder bursitis vaccine injury

If you suffer a shoulder bursitis vaccine injury, you can seek compensation through the vaccine injury compensation program ("VICP"). Through the VICP, the government has paid billions of dollars to individuals with shoulder bursitis and other shoulder injuries caused by the administration of certain vaccines. The attorneys at My Vaccine Lawyer have handled thousands of cases for SIRVA and can provide you with a free consultation to evaluate your case. You may also be compensated for the following: (1) reimbursement of medical expenses; (2) applicable lost wages; and (3) pain and suffering.

  • Reimbursement of Medical Expenses: Any medical costs incurred for treatment of the vaccine injury are reimbursable by the VICP. Reimbursable expenses are limited to what the injured party has paid or will pay related to the injury, and will not be applied to any portion of treatment paid for by a health insurance provider. The exception to this rule applies in cases where state Medicaid has paid for some or all treatment. Medicaid is the only entity that is able to subrogate against a compensation award for a vaccine injury. In light of this rule, it is crucial that the injured party advise their attorney if they have been a Medicaid recipient during or leading up to treatment. In cases where catastrophic injuries have occurred and in-home nursing or home modifications are necessary, the VICP will estimate expenses that an injured party will incur in the future. Petitioners can recover damages for those medical expenses in addition to expenses they have already paid. This includes any costs incurred from visiting a physical therapist, receiving a cortisone injection, or undergoing a surgical procedure.
  • Lost Wages: If a vaccine injury or related treatment causes an injured party to miss work and lose income, the VICP will reimburse the party for those wages. Even in cases involving workers’ compensation, a petitioner can seek the difference between the benefits received through workers’ compensation and the actual wages lost. Standard pre-reimbursement tax deductions apply.
  • Pain and Suffering: Although each injured party experiences some degree of pain and suffering, the extent is largely determined by the circumstances of the claim. The key factors for determining a monetary value for pain and suffering can be narrowed down to symptoms, treatment and residual effects on an injured party’s life. The type and duration of treatment coupled with the severity and duration of symptoms speak to the injured party’s experience. Those factors, in addition to any residual or permanent effects on the party’s life are used to quantify the claim and determine an award.

 

 

Page last reviewed and updated: January 5, 2021

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