Bursitis 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 one or a number of specific diagnoses, including bursitis, impingement syndrome of the shoulder, adhesive capsulitis, and rotator cuff tear.  Understanding these conditions will help determine whether you have suffered SIRVA and may have a potential claim in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Bursitis is a painful condition that occurs when there is inflammation or trauma to the bursa.  Bursae are fluid-filled sacs around joints that allow for comfortable rotation and movement of that joint.  With SIRVA, a common diagnosis is bursitis near the shoulder joint.  This occurs when the injection from a vaccine causes a specific trauma to the bursa in the shoulder.  Pain is a hallmark symptom of bursitis, and the pain may be gradual or sudden in nature.  If left untreated, the pain may continue to worsen, and may also limit mobility in the shoulder.   Individuals may feel increased pain with use of the affected arm.  Over time, bursitis can cause weakness of the upper arm.

Clinical examination and MRI testing are helpful in making a diagnosis of bursitis.  Additionally, x-ray imaging may be useful to rule out alternative causes.  Treatment for bursitis may involve over-the-counter and prescription pain and/or anti-inflammatory medication, rest, ice and physical therapy.

The Institute of Medicine has found that the evidence supports a causal association between injected vaccinations and deltoid bursitis.  For more information about SIRVA, please see our information page.  Please contact us here for a free consultation.