Even though shoulder pain pumps are meant to provide relief for patients, these devices often cause serious injuries. These pain pumps are often used following surgery to deliver pain medication directly into the shoulder joint. However, recent studies have shown that the use of intra-articular pain pump catheters can lead to a serious injury known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL).
PAGCL is a serious and painful injury that deteriorates the cartilage in the shoulder joint. This condition can result in permanent disability or may require total joint replacement surgery. More and more patients are reporting debilitating pain and loss of mobility, which is believed to be caused by the use of pain pumps. It appears that drugs behave differently when exposed to the delicate and irreplaceable cartilage in the shoulder joint.
Pain pumps are implanted directly into the shoulder during arthroscopic surgery. This type of surgery is meant to be less risky than traditional surgery and is supposed to be less painful. Surgeons generally have used intra-articular pain pumps as a form of pain management. These pumps are flexible plastic catheters that inject drugs directly into the shoulder joint.
A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that these pain pumps are strongly linked with PAGCL. According to the study, the risk of PAGCL seemed to increase when the pain pumps were used to deliver a combination of painkillers bupivacaine and epinephrine to the shoulder joint. The article recommended that this type of pain treatment be stopped until further research could be conducted into the association between pain pumps and PAGCL.
Some of the common symptoms of PAGCL include the following:
- Shoulder pain
- Pain when shoulder is in motion or at rest
- Shoulder stiffness
- Popping or grinding in the shoulder
- Decreased range of motion
- Loss of strength in shoulder joint
PAGCL is diagnosed by x-ray tests. It is crucial to seek medical attention if any of these symptoms are being experienced, as surgery may be required to correct the problem.
Various lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of pain pumps. It has been alleged that shoulder pain pump manufacturers failed to properly instruct doctors that the safety and efficacy of the shoulder pain pump had yet to be verified.
If you have been injured by a shoulder pain pump, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Florida mass tort lawyers at the Law Offices of Lilly, O’Toole & Brown, LLP at (863) 683-1111 to review your case for free.