Hundreds of individuals across the country use high volume pain pumps to cope with the incredible pain that often follows shoulder surgery. Now a new study suggests that the pumps may deliver too much medicine causing a loss of cartilage that can lead to lifelong pain and suffering.
Study Links Pain Pumps with Painful Loss of Cartilage Following Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery
"All of a sudden we started seeing these patients come in with this mysterious and rare condition," says Dr. Brent Hansen, an orthopedic surgeon and senior author of the study. "So, we decided to look back and see what they all had in common and what had changed. That’s when we started looking closer at the pain pump and found that 63 percent of the patients who used one after surgery had all developed this horrible complication. Of course we stopped using them right away, but we felt obligated to do everything we could to help spread the word throughout the medical community."
The article, published last week in the October 2007 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM), demonstrates a strong association between the intra-articular use of high volume pain pumps following arthroscopic shoulder surgery and an otherwise unexplainable loss of hyaline cartilage in the shoulder joint. The complication, known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL), is permanent and can lead to extreme pain and lifelong suffering. The authors call on their fellow physicians to stop using pain pumps in the shoulder joint immediately.
Numerous lawsuits are pending against the companies that manufacture, market or distribute the pain pumps, including Stryker, DJO Inc., I-Flow Inc., BREG Inc. and others. Included among the many claims in the lawsuits are the allegations that the manufacturers failed to instruct or warn the U.S. medical community the safe use of the pain pumps in the shoulder joint space had not been established or that the continuous injections of commonly used anesthetics may cause permanent injury.
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The Law Offices of Handler Henning & Rosenberg is currently handling Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL) legal claims. If you have an question, call today for a free, confidential consultation about your legal rights concerning the use of pain pumps during shoulder surgery.