Case Study: SIRVA

Diagnosis: Moderate to severe subacromial subdeltoid bursitis with bursal-sided tear of the infraspinatus. Impingement syndrome.

A 47-year-old female received a seasonal flu vaccine in her left deltoid, which resulted in severe left shoulder pain.  She presented to urgent care the day after her vaccination due to her pain.  After consultation with an orthopedic surgeon approximately six weeks post-vaccine, she received her first cortisone injection and was referred to physical therapy.  The effects of the initial cortisone injection subsided after two months.  MRI of the shoulder revealed moderate to severe subacromial-subdeltoid bursitis with a bursal-sided tear of the infraspinatus.  A second cortisone injection was administered, but the benefits did not last.  Nine months after the causal flu vaccine, petitioner underwent arthroscopic surgery of her left shoulder.  Surgery followed by physical therapy led to improvement of petitioner’s pain and limited range of motion, but she continued to experience residual symptoms.  Approximately one year following her initial surgery, she returned to orthopedic treatment because her residual symptoms gradually worsened.  She attended additional physical therapy, underwent a second MRI revealing pathology consistent with the first MRI.  A third cortisone injection was attempted, however, petitioner’s pain and limited range of motion continued.  Three years removed from her causal flu vaccine, petitioner underwent a second left shoulder surgery.  Post-surgical physical therapy followed. 

Result: Petitioner was awarded $163,946.40, consisting of $160,000.00 in pain and suffering, $2,125.25 for past lost wages, $720.00 for future medical expenses, and $1,101.15 for past unreimbursed expenses.