Pain Pumps for Shoulder Injuries

The Nature of the Device: Several companies manufacture a pain pump, also called an infusion pump, and market it in the United States. It injects a small, steady dose of prescription pain killer through a tube running into the shoulder or knee, after surgery or an injury. The device delivers a precise does of pain medication where it is needed, and is removed when the joint has healed and pain has subsided.

Hazards of the Pain Pump: A pain pump can pose a danger of postarthroscopic glenohumeral chondrolysis (PAGCL), which is loss of joint cartilage. The condition can develop after shoulder surgery, and it affects the glenohumeral joint (where the shoulder socket meets the ball of the arm bone). Joint cartilage deteriorates and symptoms appear. The problem came to the attention of physicians in 2006, when an otherwise rare condition began appearing in pain-pump recipients.

PAGCL is irreversible. Its symptoms include shoulder pain, popping or clicking noises, shoulder stiffness or weakness, or decreased range of motion. Additional surgery may be needed, including joint-replacement surgery.
A pain pump can cause other symptoms besides PAGCL, such as non-PAGCL joint pain, loss of mobility and flexibility, or a need for additional surgery. Due to PAGCL and other joint problems, many pain-pump users have sued the pump’s manufacturer.

To Obtain Legal Relief: People who have been injured by a pain pump may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.