Arthroscopic surgery, sometimes called arthroscopy surgery, is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat a damaged or painful joint, such as a knee, hip, or shoulder. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery can be used to treat a variety of shoulder problems, including:

  • arthritis
  • tendonitis
  • frozen shoulder
  • rotator cuff injuries
  • impingement syndrome
  • labral tears

Although arthroscopic shoulder surgery involves less pain than open surgery, patients who undergo arthroscopic shoulder surgery may still experience significant pain. Shoulder pain pumps are sometimes used to alleviate this pain.

What are Pain Pumps?

Pain pumps are medical devices that are implanted into the

shoulder during arthroscopic surgery to alleviate post-operative shoulder joint pain. They work by infusing pain medication directly into the shoulder through a catheter.

Shoulder pain pumps are typically used for two days after arthroscopic shoulder surgery, but shoulder pain pumps can deliver pain medication for up to 5 days. Because shoulder pain pumps are disposable, they are removed and discarded when the pain medication is no longer needed. Many different shoulder pain pumps are available, but the On Q Pump and the Stryker Pain Pump are two of the most popular shoulder pain pump models.

Pain Pumps & Cartilage Damage

Recent studies have shown that shoulder infusion pain pumps may cause some patients to suffer permanent cartilage damage. One study, which was published in the October 2007 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine, links the use of high-volume shoulder pain pumps to Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL), a painful condition characterized by permanent hyaline cartilage damage.

According to the study, as much as 63 percent of patients who use shoulder pain pumps are at risk of developing PAGCL, which sometimes requires shoulder replacement surgery to treat. Due to the high risk of PAGCL, the study’s authors recommend that patients avoid using shoulder pain pumps, especially those that use bupivacaine with epinephrine, until their effects are further studied.

Pain Pump Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Cartilage Damage Lawyer

If you or a loved one were injured by a shoulder pain pump, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact our shoulder pain pump lawyers today for a free, confidential case evaluation and information about a pain pump lawsuit.

Published November 17, 2011 by