Roundup of SIRVA-related news, Winter 2020

I’ll be posting news and updates about Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) research seasonally. If there are any exceptionally good/important new articles or information out there I will be sure to call your attention to it. Please email me or post in the comments if you find something I’ve missed! The Resources page has older articles, including many classics that explain and describe Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA), so please check there for more information if you are just getting started.

I think the most interesting new article from this season is the one listed first below under Medical Literature. In this study, doctors had the opportunity to treat two SIRVA sufferers within 5 days of their shots. (Most folks wait a bit longer than that to realize that something was unusual about their shot. I saw advice out there to wait “two weeks” to see if the pain subsides before being certain that something actually went wrong.)

In this paper, the authors (Macomb and others) describe giving the two SIRVA patients steroid injections very soon after they reported having gotten SIRVA from a shot. The first patient received the steroid injection 4 days after the vaccine and the second at 5 days. In both cases, neither developed persistent SIRVA, as both were found to be pain-free at follow-up appointments a month later.

This certainly begs the question of whether the corticosteroid injections prevented the two patients from developing SIRVA, or whether they were among the luckier folks anyway who would not have had persistent, chronic pain. It would be great to see this study continued, but with a control group (no corticosteroids) and an experimental group. It would be even more interesting to see it double-blinded (placebo steroid injections?) and of course to cover a larger number of patients, but it seems very hard to get and recruit SIRVA patients within 5 days of the onset of injury! In any case, it is neat that the authors tried this approach and found that neither patient had a bad case of SIRVA develop. If you happen to be within that very early window post-extra-painful-vaccine shot, you might show a doctor this paper. (I have also heard advice to not get a steroid shot from a general practitioner but opt for an orthopedist or other specialist to give it, for better accuracy in the shoulder joint. I don’t know if that’s good advice or not. As always please discuss everything with your doctors.)

General Articles

I didn’t see any particularly noteworthy new general news articles about SIRVA in the past few months (late 2019, early 2020).

New Medical Literature

Some of these are behind a paywall, but the abstracts provide a taste of what they’re about. Email me if you want more information about any of the access-restricted articles. All of these are also added to the Resources page.

Macomb et al., 2020: “Treating SIRVA Early With Corticosteroid Injections: A Case Series”

Hibbs et al., 2020: “Reports of atypical shoulder pain and dysfunction following inactivated influenza vaccine, Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 2010–2017”

[PDF] Farford, 2020: “Case Report”

Bansal and Di Lorenzo, 2020: “Septic arthritis of the glenohumeral joint following influenza vaccination: case report and review of the literature”

Thompson et al. 2020: “Performance of the United States Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP): 1988–2019”

Hesse et al. 2020: “Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA): Petitioner claims to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 2010–2016”

[PDF] Davidson and Bertram, 2019: “Best practice for deltoid intramuscular injections in older adults: Study in cadavers”

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Hi, I'm Amy, and I started this webpage when I got SIRVA to help gather together information about treating it.

7 thoughts on “Roundup of SIRVA-related news, Winter 2020”

  1. I was excited to find your blog. I have had Sirva pain for over 4 months because I was told by the workers comp orthopedic specialist that the flu shot can’t cause tendinitis and tears (that I must have fallen!). I didn’t fall or have any other trauma other than the injection. The severe pain started the next morning after receiving the injection and I couldn’t even lift my arm on the following day. Now, five months later- still can’t move much and sleeping well is impossible. Thank you for sharing this information. I live in Florida- maybe I can find a helpful physician here?

    1. Hi Bonnie, sorry to hear that the first person you saw was uninformed—that’s sadly all too common. I’m afraid I haven’t gotten any Florida-based doctors on the Doctor Finder page yet, so I hope you find a good one and then please let us know!!!

      Since it can be a shot in the dark, I would try to find the most highly regarded shoulder orthopedist in your area and come prepared with some SIRVA literature in case they’ve never heard of it. I have a post about that here,

      scroll down to the bottom for my actual advice about what to bring to the appointment.

      Best of luck and I hope you start to improve soon,

  2. I received a cortisone shot 8 days after my tdap vaccine. Pain was horrible! But the day after the cortisone the pain is 95% gone. Just hurts a little when I move certain ways. Doctor thinks that should recover in a month ? thought I would share.. I would ask for cortisone right away.

      1. Unfortunately the pain came back. I tried oral steroids and another cortisone shot. This time guided. That was 2 days ago still in pain.. hopefully it helps soon. The orthopedic told me if it’s not better in 2 months she will wash my bursa.

    1. Unfortunately the pain came back. I tried oral steroids and another cortisone shot. This time guided. That was 2 days ago still in pain.. hopefully it helps soon. The orthopedic told me if it’s not better in 2 months she will wash my bursa.

      1. Dang Jennifer, sorry to hear that the steroids aren’t working. The success of cortisone shots and steroids seems to be hit or miss depending on the case. Sounds like your orthopedist has a good plan though.


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