Pain Pump Manufacturers
Pain pumps are being used to continuously infuse anesthetics directly into the shoulder joint following arthroscopic surgery. The idea is to get the pain medication right to the site of the pain. This avoids the need for a systemic pain killer - one that is given orally or injected and must travel throughout the body to reach the point of pain.
However, a new problem is cropping up with the use of these shoulder pain pumps. They are built to continuously deliver the anesthetic to the joint over a period of 48 to 72 hours. Within as little as two months after surgery, some patients who have used the pump say they are suffering from:
- Weakness in the shoulder
- Limited range of motion
- Stiffness in the shoulder
- Shoulder pain whether the shoulder is moving or not
- Clicking, popping or grinding of the shoulder
Most patients first experience shoulder pain pump symptoms about eight months following surgery.
Doctors and researchers are finding that continuous delivery of the anesthetic using the pump is causing destruction of the cartilage in the shoulder. The term for the condition is postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis (PAGCL).
- Glenohumeral refers to the shoulder joint.
- Chondrolysis refers to the breakdown and death of cartilage tissue.
Two options for patients suffering from this condition include more arthroscopic surgery or shoulder replacement surgery. PAGCL can be a lifelong disability.
Liability: Pain Pump Manufacturers
PAGCL patients are suing infusion pain pump manufacturers for their damages. These include:
- DJO Inc.
- DePuy, Inc.
- Smith & Nephew
- Breg Inc.
Recently, I-Flow had to pay one PAGCL patient $4.5 million.
The FDA has not approved the infusion pumps for delivering medication directly into a joint. In fact, a number of companies requested that the FDA approve this use and the FDA turned them down. The agency said no studies had been done to prove the safety of the technique.
Up until now, the only approved method for delivering an anesthetic to the joint is by a single injection or series of injections. What is in question is the safety of exposing the bones and cartilage in the joint to the anesthetic over a prolonged period of time, as the infusion pump does.
Lawsuits against the manufacturers and health care providers claim:
- Permanent cartilage damage and destruction has been caused by using the infusion pumps
- Pain pump makers didn't warn surgeons about the possible danger of using the pumps
- Doctors are using the pumps for procedures that are not approved by the FDA
- Pain pump manufacturers failed to comply with FDA requests that safety studies be conducted on continuous joint infusion
Find Out if You Have a Pain Pump Injury Claim
If you or someone you love has suffered from PAGCL, you may want to consult with a shoulder pain pump attorney to evaluate the possibility of a lawsuit against continuous infusion pain pump manufacturers or health care providers who have used them on their patients. Your first consultation will be free.
You can find a PAGCL lawyer by sending in an email or by calling toll free (800) 730-0344.
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