A 2007 study linked shoulder surgery pain pumps to a specific type of cartilage loss called Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis, or PAGCL.  This painful condition is caused by the deterioration of hyaline cartilage around the shoulder area. Patients with PAGCL experience a decreased range of motion, shoulder stiffness/weakness, severe shoulder pain, a narrowing of the joint space in the shoulder area and Crepitus, which is a clicking, popping or grinding of the shoulder.

The shoulder surgery pain pump cartilage loss study, which was published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, found that up to 63% of patients who use shoulder surgery pain pumps are at risk of developing cartilage loss, which sometimes requires shoulder replacement surgery to treat. Because the risk of developing cartilage loss with shoulder surgery pain pumps is so high, the study’s authors recommended that patients avoid using shoulder surgery pain pumps, especially those that use bupivacaine with epinephrine, until their effects are further studied.

What are Shoulder Pain Pumps?

Shoulder surgery 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. Many different companies manufacture and distribute shoulder surgery pain pumps, or alternatively manufacture or market pain medications that doctors use in the pain pumps including Stryker Corp., I-Flow Corp., DePuy, Inc., DJO, Inc., Breg, Inc. and AstraZeneca PLC.

Pain Pump Cartilage Loss Attorney

Numerous lawsuits are now pending against companies that manufacture, market or distribute post-operative shoulder surgery pain pumps, including Stryker and I-Flow Inc. The shoulder surgery pain pump lawsuits allege, among other things, that the manufacturers of shoulder surgery pain pumps failed to instruct or warn the U.S. medical community that the safety of using the pain pumps in the shoulder joint had not been established. Additionally, the lawsuits claim that continuous injections of commonly used anesthetics (pain drugs) may cause permanent injury, including PAGCL.

If you or a loved one were injured by a shoulder surgery pain pump, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact our shoulder surgery pain pump cartilage loss attorneys today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by