Pain pumps are widely used to deliver controlled, localized pain relief to patients after routine arthroscopic shoulder surgery. They gained popularity because the pumps reduced the length of recovery time and provided an alternative to narcotic pain relievers, which often come with unpleasant side effects.
Shoulder pain pumps, however, have come under intense scrutiny due to an extremely dangerous side effect called postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis, also known as PAGCL or chondrolysis. Chondrolysis is a very painful and sometimes permanent condition that develops when the cartilage cells within joints die off after exposure to lethal doses of anesthetic drugs.
Multiple studies have now pointed to these types of localized anesthesia-delivery devices as the most probable cause of chondrolysis in patients who received pain pumps following routine shoulder surgery.
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of shoulder pain pumps, including Stryker, DJO Inc., I-Flow Inc. and BREG Inc., citing that these manufacturers illegally promoted shoulder pain pumps even after the FDA had specifically warned against using them for continuous intra-articular infusion of local anesthetics after orthopedic surgery. Investigation of these claims revealed that many physicians did report the occurrence of chondrolysis to the FDA, but that the FDA failed to warn other physicians of this horrific possibility.
Neither the manufacturers of shoulder pain pumps nor the FDA appear to be accepting responsibility for injuries caused by shoulder pain pumps. If you have experienced the debilitating chondrolysis condition stemming from the use of a shoulder pain pump, we are here to help. Call us today to discuss your legal rights.