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Medical Studies Find a Link Between Pain Pumps and Chondrolysis

Orthopedic surgeons have been baffled for years, as they tried to figure out why active young patients were developing a rare ailment, known as chondrolysis.  This condition occurs when joint cartilage dies, which leaves bone to grind against bone.

“I’ve lost so many hours of sleep over this, I can’t tell you,” said Dr. David S. Bailie, an orthopedic surgeon who was quoted in the New York Times.  “There’s nothing worse than a surgeon doing something that causes a problem, not fixes a problem.”  Bailie said that he has witnessed dozens of chondrolysis cases since 2005.

Numerous medical studies have linked pain pumps to chondrolysis.  These are pain pumps that were used after surgery to administer local anesthetics to a specific location through a plastic tube.

According to the article, “Studies Link Rare Ailment to Pain Pumps,” which appeared in the New York Times, “chondrolysis has ended the athletic careers of dozens of high school and college students.  In the most severe cases, it has required joint replacements.  Many sufferers face lifetimes of pain and disability.”

The popularity of pain pumps began in the late 1990s, as orthopedic surgeons started using these devices as alternatives to extended stays in the hospital.  Pain pumps appeared to be less harmful than narcotic painkillers.  Just about six years ago, orthopedic surgeons started noticing that there were more cases of chondrolysis.  In the majority of these cases, the patients appeared to heal fine from the shoulder procedure.

It is important to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) never cleared pain pumps for the use in joints.  The FDA warned about the dangers of using pain pumps in joints last November and ordered manufacturers of these devices to modify labels to discourage medical professionals from this type of usage.

If you have suffered from chondrolysis after using a pain pump, you may be entitled to compensation.  Contact an experienced Kentucky pain pump lawyer at the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson at (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297 for a legal consultation.

 

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