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Chondrolysis Results in 18 Cases Involving Shoulder Pain Pumps

Posted on May 13, 2010
Eighteen cases involving the use of shoulder pain pumps reportedly led to chondrolysis. The cases involve the infusion of bupivacaine through a shoulder pain pump catheter into the glenohumeral joint following shoulder surgeries.

Following arthroscopic shoulder surgery, physicians reportedly infused patient’s shoulder joints with bupivacaine with epinephrine, a local anesthetic, through the use of shoulder pain pumps. The catheter portion of the pumps was injected directly into the shoulder joints, resulting in chondrolysis.

Patients later discovered that the procedure, which has not been approved by the FDA, resulted in the deterioration of the cartilage in the shoulder joints that were operated on and have led to further complications.

Since the procedures, 14 of the victims have undergone the same arthroscopic procedure. Five of the victims underwent a humeral-resurfacing procedure to attempt to fix the problems. All of the 18 noted surgeries were performed by two experienced orthopaedic surgeons.

Unfortunately, these are not the only cases reported of chondrolysis developing through the use of shoulder pain pumps. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against several manufacturers of the devices. Many of the lawsuits have been settled.

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