April 16, 2010

A shoulder pain pump is a medical device that is implanted into the shoulder to relieve post-operative shoulder joint pain from arthroscopic (joint) surgeries by infusing pain medication directly into the shoulder through a catheter.  This disposable pump is generally used for 2 to 5 days and then removed.  The pain medications that are commonly infused include lidocaine and bupivacaine.  In particular, with the combination of bupivacaine and epinephrine as painkillers, cartilage can be damaged and even destroyed, leaving patients with limited range of motion and serious pain for life.  This condition caused by the pain pump is called postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis (PAGCL).  Chondrolysis refers to the destruction of collagen.

Studies Reveal Shoulder Pain Pumps Linked to Permanent Joint Damage:

A paper presented in 2006 at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons meeting provided evidence that shoulder pain pumps may cause PAGCL.  The reported study involved 152 patients, 12 of whom developed PAGCL.

In October 2007, the American Journal of Sports Medicine reported that 63% of patients using shoulder pain pumps were at risk of PAGCL.   With destruction of cartilage comes a decreased range in motion, stiffness, loss of strength, with a life-long disability.  Extreme pain is present whether the shoulder joint is at rest or in motion, and can escalate.  This study recommends that patients not use these pumps until further studies are done.  At present, other than shoulder replacement, the only treatment for PAGCL is pain therapy.  In other words, the only real treatment for PAGCL is more surgery.

If you have experienced a limited range of shoulder motion, loss of shoulder strength, constant joint pain, or any other shoulder related problems with a shoulder pain pump implant, you may be entitled to financial compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses. Shoulder pain pump lawsuits are currently being filed across the country.


Susan Ardizzoni, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Biology with a major in Neuroscience (medical) and minors in Biochemistry, Physics, and Mathematics with experience in basic and clinical research. Although the author is not an attorney, this article was sponsored by the law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP and constitutes Attorney Advertising.  To learn more about shoulder pain pumps or Shoulder pain pump lawsuits please visit www.ConsumerInjuryLawyers.com

Published November 17, 2011 by