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3 min read

Rotator Cuff Tears and Vaccines

A rotator cuff tear occurs when one of the tendons in the shoulder detaches from the bone, which can lead to pain, weakness, and a limited range of motion. There are two main types of rotator cuff tears: partial tears, where the tendon is still partially attached to the bone, and full-thickness tears, where the tendon completely detaches.

While these injuries typically result from the wear and tear of the tendons over time, they can also be acute, stemming from specific injuries such as falls, dislocated shoulders, or improperly administered vaccinations.

Recently, there has been an increase in rotator cuff tears attributed to vaccine injections that are administered too deeply, too high, or at an incorrect angle, directly impacting the tendons. In cases where the tear results from vaccine administration, legal consultation may be necessary to address potential medical negligence.


Rotator Cuff Tears and Vaccinations 

One such injury is a rotator cuff tear. Rotator cuff tears occur when one of the tendons becomes detached from the bone, causing shoulder pain, weakness, and decreased range of motion. Rotator cuff tears are common injuries, with nearly 2 million reported cases per year in the United States, and most are caused by a gradual wearing down of the rotator cuff over time. However, some can be caused by injury to the shoulder, and there have been reported cases of improperly administered vaccinations causing rotator cuff tears.


What causes a rotator cuff tear?

There are two main types of rotator cuff tear. These are a partial tear, where the tendon remains somewhat attached to the bone, and a full-thickness tear, where the tendon is completely detached. Tears that are caused by injury and not gradual wear are referred to as “acute” tears, and can be either partial or full-thickness. 

The injuries that typically cause acute rotator cuff tears are often abrupt and violent in nature. Common injuries are broken collarbones, dislocated shoulders, or falls onto the shoulder. Recently, there has been a rise in reported cases of rotator cuff tears brought on by improper vaccine administration. Improper administration through an injection that is too deep, too high, or at the wrong angle has been shown to potentially be able to cause rotator cuff tears, such as via the needle directly hitting the tendons in the rotator cuff, causing a tear.


What Are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

The symptoms of a rotator cuff tear can vary from person to person depending on the cause, type, and severity, but are typically characterized by several common symptoms. The most common symptoms include pain in the shoulder when lying on your side or lifting and lowering your arm, weakness in the affected shoulder, and a “snapping” or “crackling” sensation that is accompanied by pain.

If you believe you have suffered a rotator cuff tear, consult your doctor immediately. Delayed treatment of a rotator cuff tear can lead to further injury. 


Diagnosis and Treatment of rotator cuff tears

Rotator cuff tears are common, and there are many ways to diagnose and treat tears. If your doctor suspects a rotator cuff tear, they will typically conduct a physical examination of your shoulder, measuring arm strength and range of motion, and checking for tenderness in the area. Should a physical exam be inconclusive, imaging tests such as an MRI or ultrasound can be conducted to better examine the tissues affected by a rotator cuff tear.

Once diagnosed, most cases of rotator cuff tears do not require surgical treatment. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, between 80% and 85% of rotator cuff tears result in reduced pain and increased shoulder function through nonsurgical treatment. This includes resting the shoulder, typically through avoiding activities that may further irritate the shoulder, physical therapy, painkillers, anti-inflammatory medication, or steroid injections. 

However, in more severe cases where nonsurgical treatment is ineffective, surgery is often recommended. There are three options for surgical treatment. Open repair is generally utilized for the most severe tears, and involves cutting into the shoulder and the surgeon manually manipulating the rotator cuff’s tendons. All-arthroscopic repair involves manipulation of the rotator cuff with small surgical instruments over a video feed, accessed through a small incision in the shoulder. The final option is mini-open repair, which is a less-invasive version of open repair used for less-severe cases.

A complete recovery from all surgical options generally takes several months, with most patients reporting improved strength, decreased pain, and normal range of motion by four to six months after surgery. No surgical technique has resulted in a significantly better prognosis compared to another.


What to do if I suffered a rotator cuff tear?

Suffering a rotator cuff tear due to an improperly administered vaccination can have a massive impact on your day to day life. It can lead to pain, stress, and reduce your quality of life. But you are not alone. At My Vaccine Lawyer, our experienced team of lawyers is dedicated to advocating for your rights and helping you understand your legal options in this difficult time. 

If you believe you have suffered a rotator cuff tear from a vaccination, contact My Vaccine Lawyer today and take the first step towards getting the justice and compassion you deserve.

Meet the Author

Leigh Finfer - Associate Attorney

Leigh A. Finfer is a vaccine and personal injury attorney at Muller Brazil and My Vaccine Lawyer. Mrs. Finfer has been with the firm since June 2018 and her practice includes representing vaccine injury victims, personal injury victims, and those who suffer injuries as a result of unsafe drugs and medical devices.


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