Update: PAIN PUMP WARNING (Reported by the Wall Street Journal)
Federal regulators are demanding changes to labels on devices that deliver pain killers directly to joints after surgery, in response to numerous reports of irreversible cartilage damage. (Click here to read more)

Shoulder Pain Pumps Side Effects

Have you had shoulder surgery and used a shoulder pain pump? If yes, you may have a personal injury case. Feel free to read the information below to learn more. Please fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page and we will be in touch with you soon.

A petition was filed with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation seeking transfer, coordination and/or consolidation of all product liability actions pending in federal courts concerning the use of intra-articular pain pumps following arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

Patients seeking MDL consolidation have all developed Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL), an extremely painful, debilitating condition resulting in a destruction of the patient’s shoulder cartilage.

According to the petition, there are 13 related cases pending in federal courts throughout the United States, including Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, Oregon and Utah. It is believed that there are hundreds, if not thousands of similar cases being investigated and prepared fro filing by attorneys around the country.

The related actions seek to hold pain pump manufacturers and drug companies liable for encouraging physicians to use the devices to deliver pain medication directly into shoulder joints following arthroscopic surgery, contrary to uses approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The cases allege that both the device companies and the drug makers misled doctors into believing that the procedure posed no danger to their patients.

An October 2007 article in the American Journal of Sports Medicine reported a link between intra-articular pain pumps and PAGCL. Some surgeons use the pumps for pain management because they deliver the medications directly to the shoulder and also boost the effectiveness of oral painkillers for up to 48 hours. However, the article reported that use of the high-volume pain pumps following surgery resulted in patients developing PAGCL which caused extreme pain and lifelong suffering in 63% of patients who receive these pain pumps.

Symptoms of PAGCL include:

  • Pain at the shoulder, whether at rest or in motion.
  • Increased shoulder stiffness
  • Popping or grinding when the shoulder is in motion
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Loss of strength in the joint

In 2006, at a meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, evidence was presented demonstrating a relationship between the use of pain pumps and PAGCL. Diagnosis of PAGCL can be made with an X-Ray. The only treatment for PAGCL is another more painful, surgical procedure known as arthroplasty that uses artificial parts to replace the damaged joint. Many younger patients will need multiple shoulder replacements as they age.

“Manufacturers, of pain pumps, and the manufacturers of drugs that go into them, need to be held accountable for their neglect. Neither of these groups of defendants conducted any studies to determine the safety of these pain pumps, and neither warned physicians about the hazard of these pumps,” said, Robert K. Jenner, a partner with Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC.

“The results are predictably devastating,” Jenner continued. “The consumers inflicted with shoulder Chondrolysis are facing a lifetime of pain and future surgeries. Consolidated lawsuits in this MDL will help our clients get the compensation they deserve”.

Anyone experiencing symptoms associated with PAGCL following the implantation of a pain pump should seek medical attention immediately. There are currently several lawsuits pending against the manufacturers of the most popular pain pumps, including Stryker, DJO Inc., I-Flow Inc. and BREG, Inc.

If you or a loved one have experienced pain or symptoms resulting from use of a pain pump, contact The Joel Bieber Firm today for your free consultation.

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