A "needling" problem: Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration

Matthew G. Barnes, Christopher Ledford, Karen Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


A 22-year-old woman with no significant medical history developed acute left shoulder pain and severe restrictions in range of motion after a seasonal influenza vaccine injection. Imaging by MRI, approximately 8 weeks after the injection, and by ultrasound, approximately 9.5 weeks after the injection demonstrated contusions on the humerus, injury of the supraspinatus, and effusion in the subacromial bursa. Her reaction was reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System as a case of shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, likely due to injection of the influenza vaccine into the subacromial bursa. This case serves as a catalyst for discussion regarding vaccination technique and the potential to prevent complications arising from vaccine overpenetration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-922
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Arthritis
  • Case reports
  • Immunizations
  • Immunology
  • Shoulder
  • Sports medicine
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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