Flu shots, tetanus shots, and other vaccines can often cause a shoulder rotator cuff tear and other rotator cuff injuries such as Tendonitis. Rotator cuff injuries can be painful and debilitating for people of all ages. In the case of a rotator cuff tear or injury, vaccines are administered into the deltoid of the vaccine recipient’s shoulder. If the injection is administered too high on the shoulder, the needle can penetrate the sensitive tendons and bursa within. This can cause inflammation of the rotator cuff and subsequently lead to additional complications. Often, a complete tear of the rotator cuff will occur.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder that connect the upper arm bone (the humerus) to the shoulder blade (the scapula). The muscles allow the shoulder to rotate, while the tendons connect in the shape of a cuff around the humerus. Vaccines can cause rotator cuff injuries and other shoulder injuries. Although rare, there are a few different ways a vaccination, such as a flu shot, can cause a rotator cuff injury in the shoulder. Medical literature lists the following as potential causes:
Rotator cuff injuries from vaccinations are relatively rare, but they do happen. Last year, 653 vaccine injury cases were compensated by the VICP for a total of $196,217,707.64 in damages paid to vaccine injury victims.
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.
In some cases, the shoulder pain will resolve on its own within a reasonable amount of time. If it does not, then the pain is likely being caused by a significant injury such as rotator cuff tear, Frozen Shoulder, Tendonitis, or Bursitis. If this is the case, a primary care physician should be consulted.
A primary care physician will likely refer the patient to an orthopedic doctor who specializes in these injuries. In order to diagnose the injury, the orthopedist may recommend that the patient undergo an MRI of the shoulder. The MRI may show inflammation, fluid collection, swelling, or even a tear of the rotator cuff. After the orthopedist reviews the MRI, they can offer a specific diagnosis.
If any of these symptoms arise after a vaccine, it is likely that the vaccine recipient has resulting rotator cuff injury:
If you believe you suffered a rotator cuff injury from a vaccine, you should immediately consult your doctor. Your doctor may want to do tests to diagnose your injury such as x-rays, MRI’s, CT scans or ultrasounds.Once diagnosed, your doctor will be able to prescribe the proper treatment for your injury. We see a variety of treatments prescribed for shoulder injuries, including various medication, cortisone or steroid injections, physical therapy and in more rare cases, surgical procedures.
In mild cases, the patient will recover fully after a course of physical therapy. If physical therapy is not does not resolve the symptoms, the orthopedist may recommend corticosteroid (Cortisone) injections. These steroid injections can relieve inflammation. In some cases the injections will completely resolve the problem. In others, the relief may only be temporary. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. In the case of a torn rotator cuff, surgery may be performed to repair the tear. If underlying Bursitis or Tendonitis is to blame for the symptoms, surgery to repair those conditions may be necessary as well. Our vaccine injury lawyers have handled over 1,000 cases involving rotator cuff injuries caused by vaccines.
You should first report your vaccine injury to your doctor to received proper treatment as soon as possible. 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.
If you suffer a rotator cuff injury as the result of a vaccination, you can seek compensation through the vaccine injury compensation program ("VICP"). Through the VICP, the government has paid billions of dollars to individuals with rotator cuff and other shoulder injuries, caused by the administration of certain vaccines. The attorneys at My Vaccine Lawyer have handled thousands of cases for rotator cuff injuries and can provide you with a free consultation to evaluate your case.
Page last reviewed and updated: November 24, 2020