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Shoulder Tendonitis After a Flu Shot?

Improper vaccine administration either in the pharmacy or at a doctor’s office can cause adverse reactions such as shoulder injuries. Flu shots and other vaccines can cause shoulder tendonitis, a painful condition in the upper arm caused by inflammation of the tendons connecting the shoulder muscles to the bone. If you suffered tendonitis caused by a flu shot or other vaccine, you can seek compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. This federal program provides compensation for certain vaccine injuries.



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!


Shoulder Tendonitis injury from a vaccine

Various vaccines can be injected into a person’s deltoid. If the injection is performed too high on shoulder, the vaccine can penetrate the sensitive tendons within. Tendons are thick cords of tissue that attach muscle to bone. If a vaccine penetrates the tendons or other sensitive areas like the bursa sac, it can cause an inflammatory response. The inflammation can present in the bursa (Bursitis), tendons (Tendonitis) or around the Rotator Cuff. Inflammation then causes pain. If any of the below arise after receiving your vaccine, it is likely the vaccine caused tendonitis:

  • Pain when moving the arm out to the side or behind;
  • Tenderness of the front and upper parts of the shoulder;
  • Swelling and stiffness.


Diagnosing shoulder tendonitis from a vaccine

If the injured person's shoulder pain does not resolve in a short period of time, it is likely a serious injury. A person suffering from lingering shoulder pain following a vaccination should see their primary care physician as soon as possible. The primary doctor will likely refer the injured person to an orthopedic doctor who specializes in shoulder injuries. In order to diagnose the injury, the orthopedic doctor will often order an MRI of the shoulder to be done. MRI's are the most effective testing method when it comes to diagnosing shoulder injuries. The MRI may show inflammation, fluid collection, or swelling. After the orthopedic reviews the MRI, they can prescribe a specific course of therapy for the shoulder injury.


Treatment for shoulder tendonitis injuries from a vaccine

In mild cases, the patient 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, also known as Cortisone shots, have the ability to relieve inflammation in some instances. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. The damage could be substantial enough to require removal of the bursa or repair of ruptured tendons. If you or someone you know has suffered from tendonitis following a vaccination, you may be entitled to compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Contact our vaccine injury lawyers for a free consultation at (800) 229-7704.

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Page last reviewed and updated: May 4, 2020

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