Adhesive Capsulitis and Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration


Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (“SIRVA”) is a recognized vaccine injury.  SIRVA symptoms typically include pain at or around the site of vaccination, limited range of motion, and associated weakness.  SIRVA can encompass a number of specific diagnoses, including adhesive capsulitis, impingement syndrome of the shoulder, rotator cuff tear, and bursitis.  Understanding these conditions may help determine whether you have suffered SIRVA and may have a claim in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Adhesive capsulitis is characterized by pain and limited movement that is triggered by inflammation.1  Adhesive capsulitis commonly occurs in association with SIRVA, in the setting of increased inflammation and thickening of connective tissue around the shoulder.  Adhesive capsulitis is also known as frozen shoulder because the pain associated with movement can restrict movement or make it difficult to move the shoulder altogether.  Due to the pain associated with certain movements, individuals may use the shoulder less.  However, decreased use of the shoulder can further aggravate adhesive capsulitis.  Adhesive capsulitis may also be associated with impingement syndrome.  Over time, adhesive capsulitis can cause weakness in the affected arm.

Clinical examination is most helpful in diagnosing adhesive capsulitis.  MRI and ultrasound are also useful tools in diagnosing this condition.  Additionally, x-ray imaging may be useful to rule out arthritis as an alternative cause.  Treatment for adhesive capsulitis may include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medications, physical therapy, heat and ice therapy, and steroid injections.  For more severe cases of adhesive capsulitis, treatment can include surgical intervention, including manipulation under anesthesia and/or arthroscopic surgery.

For more information about SIRVA, please contact us here for a free consultation.