PAIN PUMP LAWSUITS
Following some arthroscopic shoulder surgeries, a pain pump is inserted in the shoulder to dispense pain medication to help with the extreme discomfort that can follow. What many do not know is that these pain pumps can dispense too much of the pain medication which then eats away at the cartilage in the shoulder, causing life-long pain and debilitation. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, use of the pain pump, “reduces pain, but may have toxic consequences”, known as PAGCL. This has lead to what is known as PAGCL Lawsuits or Pain Pump Lawsuits. If you are having shoulder pain or have had shoulder pain pump complications, you may want to consult with a qualified lawyer or attorney if you are suffering from PAGCL caused from a shoulder pain pump.
Problems with these shoulder pain pumps began coming to light around 2004 when PAGCL (postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis) began to show in patients who had little to no risk factors for the PAGCL. This is where the damaged or destroyed cartilage in the shoulder becomes so diminished that movement of the shoulder is limited and painful, can include loss of strength in the shoulder as well as popping or grinding noises as the joint moves. The only treatment of PAGCL is more painful shoulder surgery and even then, total use the shoulder is not regained in most patients.
Traditionally, shoulder surgeries were associated with high incidence of post-operative pain and required a hospital stay. Treatment for pain was made by single injections of local anesthetic into the shoulder joint. However, the pain pump allowed for continual diffusion of the local anesthetic, usually bupivicaine, sometimes in combination with epenephrine.
However, these pumps may have not been authorized for use in post-operative shoulder pain surgery. It is at the physician’s discretion to use certain items “off-label”, meaning not in accordance with FDA labeling, but still in the patient’s best interest. If you have had problems with PAGCL or other pain symptoms after your surgeon used a pain pump not labeled for intra-articular use, then the surgeon would bear the legal liability for that use and the damages that may have occurred. If the pump was FDA approved for that procedure and the damages occurred, the maker of the pain pump itself would be liable.
There are over 30 PAGCL lawsuits (pain pump lawsuits) in the works right now, seeking damages for those who have suffered shoulder pain and permanent injury from toxicity due to bipuvicaine delivered through an internal pain pump device.