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PAGCL & Shoulder Pain Pumps: What a Recent Study Reveals

It is difficult to gauge the full impact that shoulder pain pumps have had on the thousands of patients across the country who have used these devices.  What we do know is that since pain pumps have been utilized to administer a local anesthetic directly to the site of the surgery there has been an increase in chondrolysis. Here are some other things we know:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) never approved pain pumps for this purpose.
  • Tests were not performed to determine if it was safe to deliver a continuous infusion of a local anesthetic to human cartilage.
  • There was no warning provided to doctors or patients about any risks associated using pain pumps in this manner.

Several studies have been conducted within the scientific community including one that was published in December 2009.  The study, which was titled, Glenohumeral Chondrolysis After Shoulder Arthroscopy Associated With Continuous Bupivacaine Infusion, was performed with the intent to determine if there was a link between glenohumeral chondrolysis and postoperative continuous infusion pumps.

During the study, researchers followed up with 65 patients over a 40-month time period.  Among the patients, 29 had glenohumeral catheters and 36 had subacromial catheters.    These patients were further classified into different groups.  Group 1 received 100 mL of 0.5% bupivacaine without epinephrine infused at 2.08 mL/h.  Group 2 received 270 mL of 0.5% bupivacaine without epinephrine infused at 4.16 mL/h.

According to the researchers, three of the patients who were in group 2 and had glenohumeral catheters developed chondrolysis.  That translates to 19 percent.  Researchers also concluded that clinical symptoms and radiographic evidence of chondrolysis occurred prior to 12 months following surgery.

Here is what we can gather from this study and other similar research findings, there appears to be a connection between chondrolysis and shoulder pain pumps.  If you have developed this painful condition following the use of a pain pump, you may have a lot of questions regarding your legal rights.  Contact an experienced Kentucky pain pump lawyer at the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson at (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297.

We have represented many pain pump lawsuits and have settled more cases than any other law firm to date.  Feel free to call us today for answers to your questions.

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