Shoulder pain pumps provided to patients after undergoing arthroscopic surgery have been shown to cause an incapacitating condition called post arthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis (PAGCL). Unfortunately, if PAGCL sets in, a patient may feel even worse than prior to surgery.
Known to be a painful surgery, shoulder surgery generally necessitates some type of pain management post-surgery. Upon undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery, surgeons have found a way to manage post-operative pain. They implant a small flexible disposable plastic tube into the shoulder. This device is known as an intra-articular pain pump catheter or shoulder pain pump. Once surgically placed in joint of the shoulder, the shoulder pain pump sends pain medication to the area and is left in place for a few days.
Although the shoulder pain pump is effective in relieving pain, there is evidence now which suggests that shoulder pain pump may cause permanent injuries. In 2006 doctors found a link between Post Arthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL) and the implantation of shoulder pain pumps. This condition causes severe pain which can result in permanent disabilities.
Post Arthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis causes the glenohumeral joint to lose cartilage. The glenohumeral joint is what connects the shoulder to the arm. Once the cartilage is destroyed or damaged, no longer can the shoulder easily rotate. This creates intense pain and greatly limits the patients range of motion.
Symptoms of PAGCL
- Constant Shoulder Pain
- Shoulder Stiffness
- Grinding/Crepitus, Popping or Clicking, of the Shoulder
- Limited Motion of the Shoulder
- Weakening of the Shoulder
- X-rays indicating space narrowing of the joint
Contact your doctor immediately if you have the above symptoms.
Thus far, numerous lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of shoulder pain pumps. These lawsuits allege that the shoulder pain pumps are causing chondrolysis.
There are approximately 28 various companies and manufacturers involved in these lawsuits. To name just a few: Smith & Nephew, Inc., Stryker Corp., DePuy, Inc., I-Flow Corp., DJO, Inc., AstraZeneca PLC, and Breg, Inc.
PAGCL is generally diagnosed by an x-ray of the shoulder. Your doctor will look for narrowing of your shoulder joint space. The only known treatment to rectify this condition, unfortunately, is additional surgery.
If you have had shoulder surgery and a pain pump was placed in your shoulder, contact the team of product liability attorneys at Bernheim & Dolinsky, L.L.C.
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