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Pain Pumps and PAGCL: What to Do If You’re Injured

Some manufacturers of pain pumps hid the fact that use after shoulder surgery could actually worsen the injury, leading to possible destruction of the cartilage tissue in the shoulder joint, resulting in an extremely painful condition known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL).

Background Information on Pain Pumps:

Pain pumps have long been administered to patients recovering from arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive procedure involving only a small incision, which helps to reduce post operative complications, and also expedite patient recovery. Following the surgery, pain pumps have been prescribed by many doctors to aid post-surgical pain management.

A pain pump is essentially a disposable device with a catheter, which is inserted into the shoulder joint where it directly infuses medication for a period of 2 to 3 days. Patients continue to have the disposable pain pump on them, at the time of discharge, and it is removed a few days later. Doctors have viewed pain pumps as a preferred choice for pain management, for their ease in delivering controlled amounts of local anesthetics and reduced recovery time, when compared with narcotic pain relievers.

Pain Pumps and PAGCL

Recent research suggests that pain pumps could potentially be delivering too much medicine, which may destroy cartilage tissue in the shoulder joint, resulting in an extremely painful condition known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL). Additionally, studies indicate that 63% of arthroscopic shoulder surgery patients, who were administered a post-operative pain pump, will likely develop the condition. It is now recommended that pain pumps be avoided following arthroscopic surgery, especially so, if they deliver medication such as bupivacaine with epinephrine.

PAGCL, while seen as a common complication arising from shoulder surgeries, is also known to be a permanent condition, with no recorded treatment plan that is consistently successful. This means that patients afflicted with the condition may spend the rest of their lives, suffering excruciating shoulder pain and progressive loss of mobility.

An arthroscopic shoulder surgery recovery is expected to allow patients to have increased use and movement of their arms in a few months' time, however, PAGCL develops in patients who used pain pumps, 3-12 months after their shoulder surgery. The condition is manifested through the following symptoms:

  • Shoulder pain, whether in motion or at rest
  • Clicking, popping or grinding of the shoulder
  • Stiffness and weakness in the shoulder
  • Decreased mobility of the arm and shoulder joint

In effect, by using pain pumps, patients' conditions are actually worsened and their shoulder joint may be debilitated further. The benefit the pain pump provides is thus greatly outweighed by the risk of permanent shoulder damage.

Pain Pump Manufacturers Kept Quiet

Pain pumps were introduced in the market, over a decade ago, and manufacturers needed to have acted with great caution and responsibility, when advising doctors to administer the treatment, directly in the shoulder joint. Doctors deserved to be given more detailed information on these products. It is unlikely the manufacturing companies may have performed any trials with the product, or examined the safety in directly pumping large doses of anesthetics into a shoulder joint. The FDA has now mandated that manufacturers indicate safety warnings on these devices and also the anesthetics that may be used such devices.

Pain Pump Lawsuit Attorney

Patients suffering from PAGCL after shoulder surgery may be entitled to legal compensation and will greatly benefit by contacting our law firm immediately.

If you or a loved one has been affected by PAGCL following surgery, call our office now to initiate your pain pump shoulder surgery lawsuit. Our attorneys will offer you detailed advice and professional counsel in filing your lawsuit.

Our pain pump lawsuit attorneys are equipped with the necessary expertise and years of experience in handling medico-legal cases, to offer you the best support. Call our Pain Pump lawsuit attorneys today at 800-237-3334 for a free consultation.