Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) occurs when a vaccine is injected into the shoulder capsule instead of the deltoid muscle.
The shoulder capsule surrounds the shoulder joint and rotator cuff tendons and contains synovial fluid that lubricates the joint. If the vaccine is injected too high or too deep in the deltoid muscle, it can penetrate the capsule. This can cause inflammation, or swelling, that damages shoulder structures such as the bursae, tendons and ligaments.
Some conditions that can result from SIRVA include:
- Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). This causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder, eventually making it very difficult to move.
- Bursitis. This is an inflammation of the bursae, which are small, fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions between bones and soft tissues. Bursitis causes pain and stiffness.
- Rotator cuff tears. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that holds your arm in the shoulder socket. When one or more of these tendons is torn, it causes pain and weakness in the shoulder.
- Shoulder impingement. This happens when the space between the bone at the top of your shoulder and the rotator cuff becomes narrowed. It causes pain and difficulty raising your arm to shoulder height.
- Tendonitis. The tendons that form the rotator cuff can become irritated or damaged.
Tendonitis and Vaccines
The injuries from SIRVA include inflammation of shoulder tendons, as long as they began within a specific time frame after a vaccination and occur only in the shoulder where the vaccination was given.
Symptoms of tendonitis include:
- Mild swelling
For it to be vaccine related, the person tendonitis must also have no other condition that would explain the symptoms.
Bursitis and Vaccines
The bursae, or fluid-filled sac, in the shoulder can be injured by incorrect administration of a vaccination with symptoms occurring within a certain time frame. Symptoms of bursitis include:
Like tendonitis and other SIRVA conditions, the person with bursitis must also have no other condition that would explain the symptoms.
Rotator Cuff Tear and Vaccines
The tendons that hold the arm in place in the shoulder joint are called the rotator cuff. These tendons can become inflamed and damaged after an injection in the arm. Symptoms of this injury include:
- Arm weakness
- Difficulty reaching behind the back
- Disturbed sleep when lying on the affected shoulder
- Pain, often described as a dull ache
The tear must have begun within a specific time frame after a vaccination and occur only in the shoulder where the vaccination was given. For it to be vaccine related, there must also be no other cause for the condition.
How We Can Help With Your SIRVA Claim
Shoulder injury caused by a vaccine can be life changing, and you might be eligible for compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
The vaccine injury attorneys at Sands Anderson have filed many claims for SIRVA injuries. We understand the conditions for these claims and will explain whether your injury qualifies for compensation.