Find A Doctor

Nearly every person who has responded to the SIRVA Survey has reported seeing a doctor or health care professional who had never heard of SIRVA, and/or was skeptical about whether it exists. In my experience, I have found about half of the doctors I’ve seen to be knowledgeable about SIRVA and the other half completely unaware.

HELP US FILL IN THE MAP!! Have you seen a doctor about SIRVA and had a good experience (found them knowledgeable, compassionate, helpful)? Let us know in the comments, so other people can seek out good doctors near them. I’ll add your positive reviews to the map. Negative reviews of doctors will stay in the comments as a warning to others to stay away! On the map below, red = orthopedist; green = other type of doctor.

 

(Warning: I’m using a free map widget here, so it may not be super functional. Hover over a marker to see a basic description of the doctor or click on the marker to be taken to their webpage/contact info.)

IF THERE’S NO ONE LISTED IN YOUR AREA: My recommendations for your first visit with a doctor or orthopedist are here. I recommend a few peer-reviewed medical journal papers about SIRVA to print out and bring with you in case they’ve never heard of it.

I am really sorry if you see someone listed here and find them unhelpful, or to have a bad attitude. Please let us know and I will adjust the map accordingly! I would love to fill in MORE DOCTORS who are knowledgeable so let me know if you see someone and have a good experience with them!!! But it is important to be aware that the current state of research on treating SIRVA is very limited and not to blame the doctor if they are uncertain of the best course of action for you. I’m just looking for doctors are good at their jobs and who won’t tell you “this is not a real thing”.

DISCLAIMER: I have not personally seen most of the doctors listed on this map. Some of them are listed because they are authors or co-authors on papers about SIRVA, so I assume they’re familiar with it, but make no promises about how good they are. If you see one of them and think they’re terrible, leave a comment and I will remove them from the map.

31 thoughts on “Find A Doctor”

  1. I have seen one GP and one orthopaedic doctor about SIRVA. Both denied its existence. The orthopaedic insists it is arthritis…..
    Any suggestions.

  2. I’m sorry, Anita, that is such a hard experience. The best success I had was by having a few medical journal articles with me for my appointments. Depending on the doctor’s personality, it’s not always easy to get them to even look at the papers, but in at least one case with an orthopedist who did not believe in its existence, by the end of my visit he had turned around 180 degrees. I described those experiences here: http://sirvasurvey.org/talking-to-doctors-about-sirva/

    I know it’s not easy to keep looking for a new doctor, but you might try another orthopedist and try the technique of printing out and bringing those papers (I recommend which ones to take on that link above). If that’s not an option or you don’t want to start over, and you return to the one who thinks it’s arthritis, you can try again with the papers, but in any case I would definitely recommend insisting on an MRI. If he/she is convinced it’s arthritis, they may not be willing, but in that case I would DEFINITELY find a new one who will order an MRI. I don’t know enough about arthritis to know if it will be distinct from SIRVA-related damage on an MRI, and it’s no guarantee that a “smoking gun” for SIRVA will appear, but it is the gold standard for figuring out where the shot hit and what exactly was injured in the shoulder, which will guide treatment the best. Good luck and please keep me posted.

  3. Dr. Andrew Veitch an orthopedist in Albuquerque has heard of SIRVA and is a nice person and sympathetic. He seems very against surgery. Says the only thing to do is wait and let it resolve.

    1. Wait, so I’m in ABQ with this condition. If his solution is to ‘wait it out” would you recommend going to him or did he say that but also send you to PT or have any sorry of solution?

  4. Hi, can you share the paper written by Eric Strauss? I’m going to see him (thanks to this site!) and would like to read the paper but can’t find it.

      1. I am wondering if you have heard any feedback on the visit with MD Strauss. I am in northern New England, and haven’t found anyone who has been able to heal my shoulder. I’ll drive to NY if it’s worth it!!

  5. I am looking for the Sirva paper supposedly written by Dr.Mark Floyd in Rome, GA. I have already had one surgery and currently involved in a lawsuit from a SIRVA injury. I was thinking of going to see him since he is only 3 hours from me. Do you have any info on the paper he wrote? I would love to see it! Thanks!

    Leigh Ann

  6. I found the above map helpful. Ive been having a hard time finding a doctor that knows about SIRVA. The above map led me to someone in my area that may be familiar with SIRVA. I am hoping for good results. But typically, which doctors treat SIRVA? Orthopedics or Rheumatogists? Thank you

    1. Hi Marie, please keep me updated about how it goes with the doctor you found on here.

      A few people who have made comments on this website have seen rheumatologists but I have not, myself. So far I haven’t heard back that any particular rheumatologist has been very helpful. But their perspective could be very interesting since they are more familiar with immune-system-related processes than orthopedists, maybe.

      Finding a good orthopedist has been my recommendation usually, but many are unaware of SIRVA and some may try to pin your symptoms on another shoulder injury. Even for those who are aware of SIRVA, there is not much SIRVA-specific knowledge out there so they will be as helpful as they can be given what’s medically understood right now (cortisone shots? surgery? etc). At the very minimum they can treat a shoulder injury the way they would treat a non-SIRVA injury with similar damage, and that may be the best option anyway until more is known.

      Best of luck and please let me know if you have a good experience with any particular doctor, rheumatologist, orthopedist, or otherwise.

  7. I got sirva 5 months ago. Im one of the lucky ones. Mine went bilateral after 8 days. Pain was 90 on scale 1-10. 7 doctors gave me deer in headlighta look. None would read papers I brought in about sirva. After 1 month I begged doc to do something. I got rx for methyl-prednisone. Within 3hrs I felt better. Overnight I improved even more. But I am still very sick and pain is 8-9 on a 10 scale.

  8. Came across this site after ongoing should pain after a vaccine. I tried to make an appointment for Dr Eric Strauss about SIRVA hoping for an initial diagnosis, but his office says he only takes surgical patients and I can only see him with a referral from a general ortho. Still trying to figure out who to see.

  9. Dr Janelle Kopp of Centurs health in Arvada, CO (16320 W 64th Ave, Arvada, CO 80007) had heard of SIRVA and had treated one patient with it prior to my seeing her. She is an excellent doctor and provided some relief to me and referred me to a good physical therapist. I have not fully healed and am no longer in Colorado but I wanted to share this info in case it provides anyone else hope.

  10. Help. Was given file shot Oct 13th. Hurt in shoulder bad. Left on vacation with numbness in hands too. Schedule. Did not see orthopedic Dr. until Nov. Told me I had carpel tunnels. Gave me cortisone shot in shoulder. Called back requesting MRI because I hurt so much. Had to cancel, dog broke leg same day. Finally got MRI. Called office to see Him to find out what was wrong with my arm. Nerves to hand shocking. Big knot in arm. Said MRI showed complete tear in rotator cuff. Whatttttttttt?????? This is end of Dec. He said it was bad but no surgery, gave me PT instructions and said goodbye. Do I call and put in claim with SERVA. Want have appt with vaccine Dr until get all Med records to him in another state,which will be almost 6 mts. What do I do. Healthy exercise each day and elder. Do I call SERVA?

  11. I visited a doctor in Albuquerque named Monica Ortega. She is familiar with SIRVA and willing to help me. Only had one appointment with her so far but just wanted to let the community know. I will update again positive or negative as time goes on.

  12. I was diagnosed with Bursitis/SIRVA within 3 days of my shot by a PA (unfortunately I can’t remember his name) about 3.5 years ago. I also visited an orthopedic surgeon (also don’t remember his name) who recommend the corticosteroid shot (not helpful) and delaying surgical intervention because there was no guarantee that the pain and risk would help in the long run. However, my physical therapist was most useful: Dr. Alex Broughton, Springville, UT. He was willing to rotate new therapies until we found what worked for me. We tried physical manipulations, UV, electrical stimulation, muscle scraping, and home exercises. I was one of his first patients so he was excited to try a bunch of new technology/ideas. He even attempted to come up with exercises to rehabilitate my violin playing… but he didn’t know enough about violin playing for that to be successful. Ultimately it was time, rest, inflammation management, and consistent PT strength exercises that helped to tame SIRVA. Mostly. It still flares up if I’m not diligent about maintaining muscle tone.

  13. I have been seeing the Physical Therapist Jason Kart of Core Physical Therapy in Chicago, IL. He has an understanding of my situation, believes that it was a result of the injection, and has helped me quite a bit. I recommend seeing him if you are in the area and looking for a good physical therapist. I received a TDAP vaccination on October 8 at my 30 week pregnancy checkup. A few hours after the injection I was in serious pain and was unable to lift my arm. I was unable to move my arm at my shoulder joint for about 2 weeks until I started going to physical therapy. I had extreme weakness and pain for months. It has slowly improved and at 4 months out I have full passive range of motion and almost full active range of motion – though still with a little bit of pain.

  14. I saw Dr. Anthony J. Schena in Boston who said he had at least two SIRVA patients per year and most of them recovered with cortisone shots, gentle PT and time. He was very nice and supportive, even when I fainted after he gave me the injection :P. Although my symptoms came back 3 months after the injection, I did not get another one and continued with my daily Yoga routine (gentle stretching/ muscle relaxation on bad days (bad weeks :/) and strengthening exercises on good days). Now after 5 months, I haven’t had any bad days in about 2 weeks. Hopefully this will be the end of my SIRVA story.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment. I’ll add him to the Doctor Finder map. I’m so glad you’ve found relief with your routine of stretching and strengthening and I really hope this positive trend sticks around for ya!!!

  15. Dr. Anthony Schena in the Boston, MA area was the first doctor in 9 long, painful months to believe that my pain was caused by the flu vaccine. I burst into tears. Validation.
    Thank you to whomever added him here.

  16. I’m just starting my SIRVA journey. I need a doctor in the Kansas City area. Extreme pain and loss of use of my injection site arm. If you’ve been treated in KC please let me know. Thank you

  17. Hi Amy,Thank you so much for this fantastic resource! It has made a huge difference to me as I navigated the bewildering pain and loss of motion in my shoulder after receiving a flu shot 4 weeks ago. One of the resources you link to is Dr. Michael Skyhar’s post on his website, and so today I went to see him. I wanted to see an orthopedic surgeon and, while he’s a couple hours’ drive from me, I decided it would be worth the trip to see a doctor  who is aware of the condition rather than go through the difficulty of trying to educate those not familiar with it, as you and many others here have described, and I experienced with my own family doctor. Dr. Skyhar was fantastic – he confirmed a diagnosis of SIRVA (which has caused bursitis and frozen shoulder), gave me a cortisone shot and referred me for an MRI and physical therapy. He was also extremely nice and so were his office staff. He’s based in Encinitas, CA, not far from San Diego, which is a relatively easy distance for anyone in the Los Angeles area. I told him about your website and he was happy for me to put his name forward to be added to this map. I’m so grateful to you for collating this information, as I would never have found him otherwise and would likely still be dealing with doctors looking at me like I’m crazy. 

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery to you and to everyone else going through this!

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