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i recieved a flu shot on sept 21
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i recieved a flu shot on sept 21

i recieved a flu shot from walgreens on sept. 21. i forget the exact time but within two days i could not lift my arm.  i went to dr office 13 days later and recieved a cortisone shot in my glute.  it relieved the pain for five days. the pain returned and i followed up with an internal medicine dr which had me get an mri. the results were(findings)  -"the ac joint is well maintained. there are a few subchondral cysts seen involving the lateral humeral head measuring 8mm x 7mm in size. there is also mild increased signal seen involving the suprespinatus tendon consistent with a significant bursal surface partial tear.  a minimal amount of subcromial and subdeltoid fluid is seen". (impression)-"findings suspicious for a significant bursal surface partial tear of the supraspinatus tendon.  a few subchondral degenitive cysts are seen involing the proximal lateral humeral head".  i followed up by seeing an orthopedic dr.  he gave me an x-ray and everything was fine.  he gave me a subacromial injection of cortisone.  2cc of lidocaine,2cc of marcaine, and 80 mg of depo-medrol.  within five minutes i could raise my shoulder. i did exercise band work from an exercise sheet everyday till i saw him again after 25 days. my shoulder is much better, but i still have level 1 pain. before the injection it was level 8-9.  after reading reports given on the flu vacine and the answeres given by Phillip d parks, my conclusion is that they had to have given me the shot improperly.  please dr Parks can you help me.  will i always have pain?  in years from now will i have to have surgery?  i have seen where people ask if they have a malpractice suit. i am guessing you don't want to answer that, but does my case sound consistent with the shot being given inproperly.  please , i am a massage therapist and i went in to get a flu shot like i do every year and came out with a problem that has me worried.  
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

You may find a previous posting at medhelp.org helpful.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Occupational-Safety--Health/improper-flu-shot/show/465108

Your questions:
1. "Will I always have pain?" If the pain that you had and have in your shoulder is the result of a bursitis following an influenza vaccination, this type of pain does not last forever. Bursitis may take weeks to months to completely resolve with or without treatment.

2. "Will I have to have surgery?" In general, surgery is not recommended for bursitis or bursal surface tear of the supraspinatus tendon.

3. "Does my case sound consistent with the shot being given improperly?" To answer this question, it is important to know exactly where on your upper arm or shoulder the vaccination was given. The correct placement of the influenza vaccination is for the injection to be given in the body of the deltoid muscle. If the vaccination is administered too high, it is possible that the vaccination needle could enter the subdeltoid bursa and cause a bursitis, resulting in shoulder pain.

As a massage therapist, you will appreciate the anatomical position of the subdeltoid bursa. You can perform a google search for images of the subdeltoid bursa.

You're welcome to follow-up with additional questions that you may have.

~•~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
7 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
i received shot on sept 21, 2011 and it is now december 1, 2011.
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Avatar_m_tn
i looked away when shot was given. the pharnacist was surprised by how much blood came out.  i thought by posting my mri results you could give me more feedback.  i have read your recent posts to people.  all i know is i never have had shoulder problems and after the flu shot which i get every year i developed this.  someone responded saying i had arthritis alredy because there was no way the flu shot could cause this result. i respectfully find that answer crazy because i was doing massage up until the time of the shot for 15 years and had never felt any pain in my arm. in your opinion from my mri results that a needle could cause a partial tear in my bursa causing bursitis. i have already been to the orthapedic surgeon who stated it was possible, but after reading your feedback i wanted your feedback. i am back doing massage. i feel pain in the morning. i understand you might be straying away because of my malpractice question.  like i said i thought by posting mri results you could answer more clearly about my reaction in my arm explained by the mri. thank you so much for taking time to answer
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Avatar_m_tn
the site you listed to look at is so very similar to mine. i am able to do pushups now, i did my own rehab everyday.  but the soreness in the morning is the same also.  the exact reason i tracked you down was also it is so hard to convience that it was from flu shot. the story is so so similar to mine. It is just more evidence that i did not have arthritis before the shot because i am finally getting back to normal, except for the morning sorenes.  
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Avatar_m_tn
also, my pain was when a lifted my arm to the side. i did not have naseua or get flu.  toward my last days before i went back to orthapedic office, i vacumed. the position of my arm to push the vacum seemed to be the exact position to cause pain in my arm. i can rotate my arm now with level 1 pain, iwould appreciate anything you have to add or ask, thx. very kind of you to take out the time to help us in need.
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Avatar_m_tn
i followed up with additional questins. did you have any more answers for me.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello again,

In terms of specific advice to you, I am not able to provide you with definitive medical advice. This I will leave to your treating providers.

However, in general, it is very important for you to be able to articulate where in your arm the injection was given. Even if you looked away at the time of the injection, there was likely a small band-aid placed over the injection site. This would have indicated where the injection was administered on your upper arm/deltoid.

Unfortunately, I am not able to comment on your MRI results. In order to do this, I would need to be your treating provider, have the official report and be able to view the MRI itself. As I have described in previous postings, it is possible that the subdeltoid/subacromial bursa could be injured if a vaccination is administered in an anatomical location that permits the needle and/or injection to enter the bursa.

General symptoms of subdeltoid/subacromial bursitis include shoulder pain, pain with raising the arm to the side above 90 degrees, pain with activities overhead.

I hope you find these comments helpful.

~•~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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