Vaccine Shoulder Injuries – Why Misplaced Needles Can Cause Lasting Injury

While the sting from an injection is enough to make most children (and many adults) fear getting their annual flu shot, it usually goes away pretty quickly. But, what happens if the pain does not go away? What happens if it gets worse, and what happens if it is accompanied by swelling or limited shoulder mobility?

The sting from an injection is normal. Lasting shoulder pain from a flu shot is not. In many cases, shoulder pain following a flu shot is a sign of a potentially serious shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA).

Why Am I Experiencing Shoulder Pain After a Flu Shot?

Vaccine shoulder injuries result from errors during vaccine administration. If the person administering the vaccine inserts the needle too high, too low or too deep into the arm, this has the potential to cause a number of different injuries. Since these injuries are not caused by the contents of the vaccine itself but rather by the error in administering the vaccine injection, they commonly involve damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bursae in the arm and shoulder.

For example, one common form of SIRVA is adhesive capsulitis, commonly known as “frozen shoulder.” It occurs when a vaccination needle is inserted too high on the arm. The erroneous needle placement results in the vaccine being injected into the fluid-filled sac, known as the bursa, that reduces friction in the shoulder joint. The body attacks the area once it senses that the protective shoulder bursa is in danger, and this can cause the shoulder joint to “freeze” until the condition is properly treated.

Lasting Effects of Vaccine Shoulder Injuries

In many cases, the pain from an error during vaccine administration can last for months, if not years following the vaccination. Other symptoms of vaccine shoulder injuries can persist for prolonged periods as well. For example, the following are just some of the lasting effects many vaccine recipients experience after being diagnosed with a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration:

  • Adhesive Capsulitis (“Frozen Shoulder”) – Near-complete shoulder immobility for four to six months, followed by a gradually “thawing” period that can take years.
  • Brachial Neuritis – Lack of muscle control, loss of sensation, weakness and paralysis that may last for months or years. In some cases, patients have experienced permanent weakness or immobility following a vaccine injection.
  • Torn Rotator Cuff – Without surgical repair, a torn rotator cuff resulting from erroneous needle placement can lead to permanent complications. These can include pain, muscle weakness, and limited shoulder flexibility.
  • Bursitis/Tendonitis – Many people who suffer shoulder injuries as a result of a vaccination are often diagnoses with these conditions which refer to inflammation of the bursa or tendons in the shoulder

Are You or a Loved One Experiencing Shoulder Pain Following a Vaccination?

If you or a loved one is experiencing shoulder pain following a vaccination, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention and receive a medical diagnosis. Many vaccine-related shoulder injuries are treatable, and an early diagnosis may help reduce the scope and duration of treatment and recovery.

It is also important that you learn more about your legal rights. There is a special federal government program designed to compensate individuals who experience vaccine injuries, and filing a claim may be your only option to recover the money you need to cover your medical bills and other losses. To learn more, call (202) 800-1711 or contact us online for a free consultation with vaccine injury lawyer Leah Durant.

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.